Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 407–413

Nucleation and growth of mineral crystals in bone studied by small-angle X-ray scattering

  • Peter Fratzl
  • Nadja Fratzl-Zelman
  • Klaus Klaushofer
  • Gero Vogl
  • Kristian Koller
Laboratory Investigations

DOI: 10.1007/BF02556454

Cite this article as:
Fratzl, P., Fratzl-Zelman, N., Klaushofer, K. et al. Calcif Tissue Int (1991) 48: 407. doi:10.1007/BF02556454

Summary

The mechanism of calcification in bone and related tissues is a matter of current interest. The mean size and the arrangement of the mineral crystals are important parameters difficult to obtain by electron microscopy. Furthermore, most studies have been carried out on poorly calcified model systems or chemically treated samples. In the work presented here, native bone was studied as a function of age by a quantitative small-angle X-ray scattering method (SAXS). Bone samples (calvariae and ulnae) from rats and mice were investigated. Measurements were performed on native bone immediately after dissection for samples up to 1 mm thick. The size, shape, and predominant orientation of the mineral crystals in bone were obtained for embryonal, young, and adult animals. The results indicate that the mineral nucleates as thin layers of calcium phosphate within the hole zone of the collagen fibrils. The mineral nuclei subsequently grow in thickness to about 3 nm, which corresponds to maximum space available in these holes.

Key words

Bone Mineral crystals Small-angle X-ray scattering Hydroxyapatite Biomineralization 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Fratzl
    • 1
  • Nadja Fratzl-Zelman
    • 2
  • Klaus Klaushofer
    • 2
  • Gero Vogl
    • 1
  • Kristian Koller
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Festkörperphysik der Universität WienViennaAustria
  2. 2.Ludwig Boltzmann Research Unit for Clinical and Experimental Osteology, 4th Medical DepartmentHanusch HospitalViennaAustria

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