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Title: A study of the spatial organization of the mineral component in bone
Author: Turner, I. G.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1982
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Bone can be regarded as a composite material with two main components, the organic collagen fibre network and the inorganic mineral hydroxyapatite. The actual nature of the mineral component in bone has been the subject of many investigations over the last thirty years which have resulted in a diversity of physical characteristics being attributed to it. The object of this study was to attempt to resolve the fine structure of the mineral component using X-ray and electron diffraction techniques combined with scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Bone does not lend itself readily to the application of standard preparation techniques for electron microscopy, which it is now recognized can distort the appearance of the mineral. The technique of ion bombardment can however be used where other processes present practical difficulties. Accordingly, ionized argon beams were used to prepare surfaces and thin sections for examination in both scanning and transmission modes of the electron microscope. Using these techniques the mineral is revealed as a continuous microskeleton composed of spherical and cylindrical segments n, 0.1 um in diameter. Electron diffraction suggests the mineral segments consist of a poorly crystallised form of hydroxyapatite. This is confirmed by X-ray diffraction and the use of high resolution scanning electron microscope techniques. On the basis of these results it is proposed that bone consists of two interpenetrating networks of collagen and the contiguous form of the mineral observed. Such a model can easily be reconciled with the high stiffness and good values for strain found in bone. The study of bone structure involves a wide range of disciplines which include those of chemistry, physics, biology, medicine, engineering and materials science. As it would be impossible to incorporate all the different approaches to the analysis of bone and its structural components in one review, this study concentrates on bone and more specifically the structure and spatial arrangement of the mineral component from the materials science point of view.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available