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Skeletal Function and Form


  • 213 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 332 pages
  • Size: 253 x 177 mm
  • Weight: 0.587 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521714754)

The intimate relationship between form and function inherent in the design of animals is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the musculoskeletal system. In the bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles of all vertebrates there is a graceful and efficient physical order. This book is about how function determines form. It addresses the role of mechanical factors in the development, adaptation, maintenance, ageing and repair of skeletal tissues. The authors refer to this process as mechanobiology and develop their theme within an evolutionary framework. They show how the normal development of skeletal tissues is influenced by mechanical stimulation beginning in the embryo and continuing throughout life into old age. They also show how degenerative disorders such as arthritis and osteoporosis are regulated by the same mechanical processes that influence development and growth. Skeletal Function and Form bridges important gaps among disciplines, providing a common ground for understanding, and will appeal to a wide audience of bioengineers, zoologists, anthropologists, palaeontologists and orthopaedists.

• Authors are well-known and respected biomechanics researchers • Unique focus on how mechanical function regulates the growth and adaptation of skeletal tissues • Profusely illustrated with line drawings and photographs


Preface; 1. Form and function; 2. Skeletal tissue histomorphology and mechanics; 3. Cartilage differentiation and growth; 4. Perichondral and periosteal ossification; 5. Endochondral growth and ossification; 6. Cancellous bone; 7. Skeletal tissue regeneration; 8. Articular cartilage development and destruction; 9. Mechanobiology in skeletal evolution; 10. The physical nature of living things; Appendix A. Material characteristics; Appendix B. Structural characteristics; Appendix C. Failure characteristics; Index.


'… readers with an interest in skeletal form and function will gain new understanding of the possible roles of physical forces in skeletal tissue processes … and will be drawn to wonder about the physical, biological, and evolutionary mechanisms responsive for skeletal tissue function and form.' Richard T. Hart, Journal of Biomechanics

'… this book is a comprehensive synopsis of the mechanobiology of the skeleton extended and updated with many rigorous analytical models …' David Green, The Times Higher Education Supplement

'This excellent book is a comprehensive introduction to the study of the modulation of bone form and function by mechanical stimuli. This is an informative and enjoyable book … A recommended read for graduate studies in biology and orthopaedics as well as for practising orthopaedic surgeons.' David Green, The Times Higher Education Supplement

'As a vertebrate palaeobiologist interested in animal design and function from a number of perspectives I was interested to read this book. Overall it is a masterly treatment of the subject … has its place on library shelves and in the offices of genuine specialists.' Journal of the Geological Magazine

'… there is much that is interesting and thought-provoking in the book.' International Journal of Osteoarchaeology

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