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Biomechanical properties enhancement of gamma radiation-sterilized cortical bone using antioxidants

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Gamma radiation sterilization is the method used by the majority of tissue banks to reduce disease transmission from infected donors to recipients through bone allografts. However, many studies have reported that gamma radiation impairs the structural and mechanical properties of bone via formation of free radicals, the effect of which could be reduced using free radical scavengers. The aim of this study is to examine the radioprotective role of hydroxytyrosol (HT) and alpha lipoic acid (ALA) on the mechanical properties of gamma-sterilized cortical bone of bovine femur, using three-point bending and microhardness tests. Specimens of bovine femurs were soaked in ALA and HT for 3 and 7 days, respectively, before being exposed to 35-kGy gamma radiation. In unirradiated samples, both HT and ALA pre-treatment improved the cortical bone bending plastic properties (maximum bending stress, maximum bending strain, and toughness) without affecting microhardness. Irradiation resulted in a drastic reduction of the plastic properties and an increased microhardness. ALA treatment before irradiation alleviated the aforementioned reductions in maximum bending stress, maximum bending strain, and toughness. In addition, under ALA treatment, the microhardness was not increased after irradiation. For HT treatment, similar effects were found. In conclusion, the results indicate that HT and ALA can be used before irradiation to enhance the mechanical properties of gamma-sterilized bone allografts.

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Correspondence to Hoda H. Said.

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El-Hansi, N.S., Sallam, A.M., Talaat, M.S. et al. Biomechanical properties enhancement of gamma radiation-sterilized cortical bone using antioxidants. Radiat Environ Biophys 59, 571–581 (2020).

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