Rachel Tonelli Zasarsky


Phone: 416-978-1097


2006 – present

B.A.Sc., Engineering Science – Biomedical Option, University of Toronto


Rapid bone loss is observed in immobilized patients due to reduced bone formation and increased bone resorption. Studies show that this may be caused by changes in osteocyte survival in unloaded bone. Here we investigate the effects of bone loading on osteocyte survival, and particularly osteocyte apoptosis.  To model loaded and unloaded bone, osteocytes are either subjected to oscillatory fluid flow or static conditions in flow chambers over a two hour period; apoptosis in both conditions is then measured. Results suggest that oscillatory fluid flow protects osteocytes against apoptosis, but apoptosis is not terminal in the static condition over the two hour period tested.