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The measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) using X-rays is usually employed to monitor the mineral content in a given portion of bone. However, this method cannot differentiate between changes in bone volume or in degree of mineralization of the bone matrix. In contrast to BMD, bone mineral density distribution (BMDD), as measured on bone sections by(More)
Human cortical and trabecular bones are formed by individual osteons and bone packets, respectively, which are produced at different time points during the (re)modeling cycle by the coupled activity of bone cells. This leads to a heterogeneously mineralized bone material with a characteristic bone mineralization density distribution (BMDD) reflecting bone(More)
In biomineralized tissues such as bone, the recurring structural motif at the supramolecular level is an anisotropic stiff inorganic component reinforcing the soft organic matrix. The high toughness and defect tolerance of natural biomineralized composites is believed to arise from these nanometer scale structural motifs. Specifically, load transfer in bone(More)
Collagen type I is the most abundant structural protein in tendon, skin and bone, and largely determines the mechanical behaviour of these connective tissues. To obtain a better understanding of the relationship between structure and mechanical properties, tensile tests and synchrotron X-ray scattering have been carried out simultaneously, correlating the(More)
The degree of mineralization of bone matrix is an important factor in determining the mechanical competence of bone. The remodeling and modeling activities of bone cells together with the time course of mineralization of newly formed bone matrix generate a characteristic bone mineralization density distribution (BMDD). In this study we investigated the(More)
Both elastic modulus and fracture stress are known to increase with the amount of mineral deposited within collagen fibrils. Current mechanical models of mineralized fibrils, where mineral platelets are arranged in parallel arrays, reproduce the first effect but fail to predict an increase in fracture stress. Here, we propose a model with a staggered array(More)
Natural materials such as bone, tooth, and nacre are nanocomposites of proteins and minerals with superior strength. Why is the nanometer scale so important to such materials? Can we learn from this to produce superior nanomaterials in the laboratory? These questions motivate the present study where we show that the nanocomposites in nature exhibit a(More)
Structural materials in nature exhibit remarkable designs with building blocks, often hierarchically arranged from the nanometer to the macroscopic length scales. We report on the structural properties of biosilica observed in the hexactinellid sponge Euplectella sp. Consolidated, nanometer-scaled silica spheres are arranged in well-defined microscopic(More)
The shape, the typical orientation, and the average size of mineral crystals in different types of mineralized tissues were investigated by means of small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS). To rule out eventual artifacts due to sample preparation, four different standard preparation techniques were used and a comparison showed that the SAXS results were(More)
Small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) can provide information on mean size, predominant orientation and typical shape of mineral crystals in bone. In this paper, recent developments of this technique for application in bone research are reviewed. Then the structure of the collagen/mineral composite in bone, as determined by SAXS, is compared for a number of(More)