Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 291–301 | Cite as

Failure to detect an amorphous calcium-phosphate solid phase in bone mineral: A radial distribution function study

  • Marc D. Grynpas
  • Laurence C. Bonar
  • Melvin J. Glimcher
Laboratory Investigations


X-ray diffraction radial distribution function analysis was used to determine if a significant amount of an amorphous solid phase of calcium phosphate exists in bone, and if so, whether the amount varies as a function of age and maturation. Unfractionated cortical bone from embryonic and posthatch chicks of various ages and a low-density fraction of embryonic bone were studied. No evidence was found for the presence of an amorphous solid phase of calcium phosphate in any of the samples studied, including the recently deposited bone mineral of the low density fraction of embryonic bone. As little as 12.5% of synthetic amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) added to bone was readily detected by the radial distribution function technique used. The results clearly indicate that the concept that ACP is the initial solid mineral phase deposited in bone, and the major mineral constituent of young bone is no longer tenable. The concept does not provide an accurate description of the nature of the initial bone mineral deposited, or the changes that occur with maturation, nor can it acount for the compositional and X-ray diffraction changes that the mineral component undergoes during maturation and aging.

Key words

Bone Mineral Amorphous calcium phosphate X-ray diffraction Radial distribution function 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc D. Grynpas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Laurence C. Bonar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Melvin J. Glimcher
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory for the Study of Skeletal Disorders and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical SchoolChildren's HospitalBoston
  2. 2.the Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryChildren's HospitalBoston

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