Author(s): Wasserman N, Yerramshetty J, Akkus O
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Abstract While much work has been performed to quantify the extent of bone damage, its effects on the mechanical integrity of the tissue and its biological impact, the set of factors which gives forth to microdamage are nebulous, particularly the compositional properties local to microdamage. In this context, the current study tested the hypothesis that microcracks initiate within more mineralized regions of bone. Cortical bone specimens were taken from human male donors aged 31, 38, 53, 64, 71, and 84 years at the mid femoral diaphysis in a plane parallel to the osteonal orientation. The mineralization was assessed in a spatially resolved manner using Raman microspectroscopy. Arrays of measurements were taken over the entire area (i.e. global scans) of each sample followed by measurements in the vicinity of microcracks (i.e. local scans). Histograms of mineralization were constructed for global and local scans to determine whether the mineralization of damaged loci differed from the mean overall mineralization. Statistical analysis of this data revealed that the mean mineralization of damaged loci was significantly greater (P < 0.05) than the overall mineralization for each donor, indicating that there exists a highly-mineralized 'brittle volume' in bone. The presence of this damage prone 'brittle volume' has future implications for the assessment of fracture susceptibility.
This article was published in Eur J Morphol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports