Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 499–504 | Cite as

Density of a sample bovine cortical bone matrix and its solid constituent in various media

  • Sidney Lees
  • John D. Heeley


The density of a bovine cortical bone matrix sample was found in water, several ethanol-water solutions, and in the dried state. Previously the density of the same mineralized bone was found fresh and when desiccated. The volume in each state was estimated from the dimensional changes axially, tangentially, and radially. Confirmation was found by determining the density of dried specimens upon immersion in xylene. The amount of imbibed xylene provided an estimate of the free pore volume in the dried matrix.

The volume fraction of the solid constituent, S, in the wet matrix was found to be 0.57, from which the density of S in various solutions was calculated. Density of wet matrix in 0.15 M saline: 1.180 g/cc; for dried matrix, 1.246 g/cc. Density of wet S in saline: 1.33 g/cc; for dried S, 1.42 g/cc, which matches published values for collagen molecules.

Dimensional changes between wet and dried state of matrix match published values for artificially cross-linked rat tail tendon fibers. Axially: 1.04, by area: 2.27; by volume: 2.62.

Estimate of intrafibrillar volume, assuming 80% of mineral is within fibrils: 0.73 cc/g dry collagen.

Key words

Bone Collagen Density 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Robinson, R. A.: Chemical analysis and electron microscopy of bone. In K. Rodale, J. Nicholson, E. M. Brown, Jr. (eds.): Bone as Tissue, pp. 186–250. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1960Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bear, R. S.: The structure of collagen molecules and fibrils, J. Biophys. Biochem. Cytol.2:363–368, 1956PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Katz, E. P., Li, S. T.: Structure and function of bone collagen fibrils, J. Mol. Biol.80:1–15, 1973CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Pomoroy, C. D., Mitton, R. J.: The real densities of chrome and vegetable tanned leathers, J. Soc. Leather Trades Chem.35:360–375, 1951Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Robinson, R. A., Elliott, S. R.: The water content of bone, J. Bone Joint Surg.39A:167–188, 1957Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Harley, R., James, D., Miller, A., White, J. D.: Phonons and the elastic moduli of collagen and muscle, Nature267:285–287, 1977CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Miller, A.: Molecular packing in collagen fibrils. In B. N. Ramachandran, A. H. Reddi (eds.): Biochemistry of Collagen. Plenum Press, New York, 1976Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Glimicher, M. J.: Composition, structure and organization of bone and other mineralized tissues and the mechanism of calcification. In R. O. Greep, E. B. Astwood (eds.): Handbook of Physiology, Section 7-Endocrinology VII, pp. 15–116. American Physiology Society, Washington, D.C., 1976Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lees, S., Heeley, J. D., Cleary, P. F.: A study of some properties of a sample of bovine cortical bone using ultrasound, Calcif. Tissue Int.29:107–117, 1979PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lees, S., Heeley, J. D., Cleary, P. F.: Some properties of the organic matrix of a bovine cortical bone sample in various media, Calcif. Tissue Int.33: 83–86, 1981PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 40th Ed. Chemical Rubber Publishing Co., Cleveland, 1959Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lees, S., Davidson, C. L.: The role of collagen in the elastic properties of calcified tissues, J. Biomechan.10:473–486, 1977CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Biltz, R. M., Pellegrino, E. D.: The chemical anatomy of bone, J. Bone Joint Surg.51A:456–466, 1969Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ciferri, A., Rajagh, L. V., Puett, D.: Interactions between proteins and salt solutions. III. Effect of salt type and concentration on the shrinkage temperature. Biopolymers3:461–480, 1965CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sidney Lees
    • 1
  • John D. Heeley
    • 1
  1. 1.Bioengineering DepartmentForsyth Dental CenterBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations