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1 July 2004 Ultrastructural elastic deformation of cortical bone tissue probed by NIR Raman spectroscopy
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Raman spectroscopy is used as a probe of ultrastructural (molecular) changes in both the mineral and matrix (protein and glycoprotein, predominantly type I collagen) components of murine cortical bone as it responds to loading in the elastic regime. At the ultrastructural level, crystal structure and protein secondary structure distort as the tissue is loaded. These structural changes are followed as perturbations to tissue spectra. We load tissue in a custom-made dynamic mechanical tester that fits on the stage of a Raman microprobe and can accept hydrated tissue specimens. As the specimen is loaded in tension and/or compression, the shifts in mineral P-O4 v1 and relative band heights in the Amide III band envelope are followed with the microprobe. Average load is measured using a load cell while the tissue is loaded under displacement control. Changes occur in both the mineral and matrix components of bone as a response to elastic deformation. We propose that the mineral apatitic crystal lattice is deformed by movement of calcium and other ions. The matrix is proposed to respond by deformation of the collagen backbone. Raman microspectroscopy shows that bone mineral is not a passive contributor to tissue strength. The mineral active response to loading may function as a local energy storage and dissipation mechanism, thus helping to protect tissue from catastrophic damage.
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William F. Finney, Michael D. Morris, Joseph M. Wallace, and David H. Kohn "Ultrastructural elastic deformation of cortical bone tissue probed by NIR Raman spectroscopy", Proc. SPIE 5321, Biomedical Vibrational Spectroscopy and Biohazard Detection Technologies, (1 July 2004);

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