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Piezoelectric Effect and Growth Control in Bone


THE adaptability of bone under impressed mechanical forces has been known since the time of Wolff1. A possible control mechanism for the process became apparent with the discovery of the piezoelectric effect in bone2. In theory this effect could translate an environmental stimulus into a biologically recognizable signal controlling growth or resorptive processes. It has been recognized that the action of the piezoelectric signal may be to alter the chemistry of pertinent macromolecules such as collagen, or to influence cellular activity directly3. Of the two possibilities, evidence tends to rule out the importance of the former and we consider here only the latter4.

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MARINO, A., BECKER, R. Piezoelectric Effect and Growth Control in Bone. Nature 228, 473–474 (1970).

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