Development of Complex Bones – Musculoskeletal System Development

by John McLachlan, PhD

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    00:01 Now, this might sound a reasonable explanation for relatively simple bones like the arm bones and the fingers and so on. What about extremely complex bones like this skull shown here? The way the body goes about doing that is not by creating a complex structure from the beginning, but by starting off with many small precursors each of which can take a particular shape, and gradually, this will fuse together, locking together to form complex structures like the pelvis, or indeed, the skull itself. Sometimes, neural tissue will actually induce bone to form roundabout it. So we can see in the orbits of the eye, the bony tissue around this is induced by the developing optic vesicles from the brain. And similarly, the complex bone surrounding the semicircular canals of the inner ear is induced by the canals themselves.

    00:58 So it always fits to the underlying structures because it’s induced by them. Finally, there are mechanical forces which will act on adult bone, and this can change the shape of the bone significantly. Your skeleton is not a passive structure. It’s actually a living structure.

    01:18 And the cells in the bone are constantly being replaced. So if mechanical pressure is placed on a bone, the bone will respond by changing its shape in consequence.

    01:29 We tend to think of bones as being fixed because we see them after they’re dead but in fact, bone is almost a kind of very slow moving fluid and will respond to pressures on it.

    01:40 If, for instance, you break a leg, then that changes the stresses in your hip, and your hip structure will begin to adapt itself to the new stress pattern.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Development of Complex Bones – Musculoskeletal System Development by John McLachlan, PhD is from the course System-Specific Embryology with John McLachlan.

    Author of lecture Development of Complex Bones – Musculoskeletal System Development

     John McLachlan, PhD

    John McLachlan, PhD

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