Current investigations attempt to identify the genetic, biochemical, and biomechanical signals that cause the skeleton to be formed, take the shape it does, and stop the formation process when complete. These basic biologic studies add to our knowledge, of course, but they may also suggest why diseases of bone loss or dysfunction occur.
Fracture healing is known to recapitulate some of the steps of normal bone formation. Studies of the cellular machinery of bone formation are ongoing and may reveal how fracture healing can be accelerated or enhanced.
Regulation of Bone Metabolism:
Osteoporosis is a disease in which bone formation is not coupled perfectly with bone resorption. Ongoing laboratory studies, such as those involving menopause and estrogen loss, attempt to further regulate this process to ensure that bone is not lost from the skeleton even as some natural mediators are altered.