There may be different causes of failures in bone; however, their origin generally lies at the lowest level of structural hierarchy, i.e., at the mineral-collagen composite. Any change in the nanostructure affects the affinity or bonding effectiveness between and within the phases at this level, and hence determines the overall strength and quality of bone. In this study, we propose a novel concept to assess change in the nanostructure and thereby change in the bonding status at this level by revealing change in the orientation distribution characteristics of mineral crystals. Using X-ray diffraction method, a parameter called Degree of Orientation (DO) has been quantified. The DO accounts for the azimuthal distribution of mineral crystals and represents their effective amount along any direction. Changes in the DOs in cortical bone samples from bovine femur with different preferential orientations of mineral crystals were estimated under external loads. Depending on the applied loads, change in the azimuthal distribution of the DOs and the degree of reversibility of the crystals was observed to vary. The characteristics of nanostructural change and thereby possible affect on the strength of bone was then predicted from the reversible or irreversible characteristics of distributed mineral crystals. Significant changes in the organization of mineral crystals were observed; however, variations in the applied stresses and elastic moduli were not evinced at the macroscale level. A novel concept to assess the alteration in nanostructure on the basis of mineral crystals orientation distribution has been proposed. The importance of nanoscale level information obtained noninvasively has been emphasized, which acts as a precise tool to estimate the strength and predict the possible fracture risks in bone.
Nanostructural Alteration in Bone Quantified in Terms of Orientation Distribution of Mineral Crystals: A Possible Tool for Fracture Risk Assessment
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Giri, B., and Tadano, S. (December 21, 2011). "Nanostructural Alteration in Bone Quantified in Terms of Orientation Distribution of Mineral Crystals: A Possible Tool for Fracture Risk Assessment." ASME. J Biomech Eng. December 2011; 133(12): 124503. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4005482
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