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Properties of the organic matrix of bone as well as its function in the microstructure could be the key to the remarkable mechanical properties of bone. Previously, it was found that on the molecular level, calcium-mediated sacrificial bonds increased stiffness and enhanced energy dissipation in bone constituent molecules. Here we present evidence for how(More)
Tendons are composed of collagen and other molecules in a highly organized hierarchical assembly, leading to extraordinary mechanical properties. To probe the cross-links on the lower level of organization, we used a cantilever to pull substructures out of the assembly. Advanced force probe technology, using small cantilevers (length <20 microm), improved(More)
The standard model for the structure of collagen in tendon is an ascending hierarchy of bundling. Collagen triple helices bundle into microfibrils, microfibrils bundle into subfibrils, and subfibrils bundle into fibrils, the basic structural unit of tendon. This model, developed primarily on the basis of x-ray diffraction results, is necessarily vague about(More)
The bone diagnostic instrument (BDI) is being developed with the long-term goal of providing a way for researchers and clinicians to measure bone material properties of human bone in vivo. Such measurements could contribute to the overall assessment of bone fragility in the future. Here, we describe an improved BDI, the Osteoprobe IItrade mark. In the(More)
In recent years, the important role of the organic matrix for the mechanical properties of bone has become increasingly apparent. It is therefore of great interest to understand the interactions between the organic and inorganic constituents of bone and learn the mechanisms by which the organic matrix contributes to the remarkable properties of this complex(More)
Sacrificial bonds and hidden length in structural molecules and composites have been found to greatly increase the fracture toughness of biomaterials by providing a reversible, molecular-scale energy-dissipation mechanism. This mechanism relies on the energy, of order 100 eV, needed to reduce entropy and increase enthalpy as molecular segments are stretched(More)
Despite its inherent mechanical fragility, silica is widely used as a skeletal material in a great diversity of organisms ranging from diatoms and radiolaria to sponges and higher plants. In addition to their micro- and nanoscale structural regularity, many of these hard tissues form complex hierarchically ordered composites. One such example is found in(More)
Sandcastle worms Phragmatopoma californica build mound-like reefs by sticking together large numbers of sand grains with cement secreted from the building organ. The cement consists of protein plus substantial amounts of calcium and magnesium, which are not invested in any mineral form. This study examined the effect of calcium and magnesium depletion on(More)
Nanoscale structural analyses of biomineralized materials can frequently help elucidate important structure-function relationships in these complex organic-inorganic composites. Atomic force microscope (AFM) imaging of the exterior surface of trabecular bone reveals a densely woven structure of collagen fibrils, banded with a 67-nm periodicity, and densely(More)
Many applications in materials science, life science and process control would benefit from atomic force microscopes (AFM) with higher scan speeds. To achieve this, the performance of many of the AFM components has to be increased. In this work, we focus on the cantilever sensor, the scanning unit and the data acquisition. We manufactured 10 microm wide(More)