Wolff's law

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Wolff's law

Etymology: Julius Wolff, German anatomist, 1836-1902
the principle that changes in the form and function of a bone are followed by changes in its internal structure.


principle or rule
  • Davis' law soft tissues' tendency to shorten and contract unless subject to frequent stretching

  • Hilton's law a joint and its motive muscles (+ insertions) are all supplied by the same nerve

  • Hook's law tissue strain (i.e. change in length) is directly proportional to applied compressive or stretching stress, so long as tissue elasticity (recoil ability) is not exceeded

  • inverse-square law radiation intensity is inversely proportional to square of distance from radiation source (rad = κ1/cm2)

  • law of excitation muscle tissue contracts in direct proportion to stimulating current strength

  • Newton's first law; law of inertia an object at rest will not move until acted upon by a force; an object in motion will remain in motion at constant velocity until acted on by a net force

  • Newton's second law; law of acceleration acceleration is directly proportional to applied force and indirectly proportional to object mass (i.e. force = mass × acceleration)

  • Newton's third law; law of reciprocal actions to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction; i.e. a body is maintained at rest by equal and opposing forces

  • Pascal's law a fluid at rest transmits pressure equally in every direction

  • Poiseuille's law vascular blood flow is inversely proportional to fourth power of vessel radius (i.e. the narrower the vessel, the greater the resistance to flow)

  • Starling's law the greater the stretch imposed on a circular muscle (e.g. muscle layer of an artery), the greater its reciprocal recoil and contraction

  • Wolff's law bone function changes cause bone structure modification (see bone modelling)

Wolff's law,

n.pr a law according to which biologic systems such as hard and soft tissues become distorted in direct correlation to the amount of stress imposed upon them.

Wolff's law,

n.pr See law, Wolff's.
Wolinella recta
n a microorganism associated with progressive periodontal destruction and refractory forms of periodontitis. A regimen combining antibiotic treatment, débridement, and home oral care seems to suppress or control periodontal infections. Also called
C. rectus.

Wolff's law

the law that skeletal transformation is dependent on the exertion of pressures from outside the animal.