Structural bone allografts are often sterilized with γ-irradiation to decrease infection risk, which unfortunately degrades the bone collagen connectivity, making the bone weak and brittle. In previous studies, we successfully protected the quasi-static mechanical properties of human cortical bone by pre-treating with ribose, prior to irradiation. This study focused on the quasi-static and fatigue tensile properties of ribose treated irradiated sterilized bone allografts. Seventy-five samples were cut from the mid-shaft diaphysis of human femurs into standardized dog-bone shape geometries for quasi-static and fatigue tensile testing. Specimens were prepared in sets of three adjacent specimens. Each set was made of a normal (N), irradiated (I) and ribose pre-treated + irradiation (R) group. The R group was incubated in a 1.2 M ribose solution before γ-irradiation. The quasi-static tensile and decalcified tests were conducted to failure under displacement control. The fatigue samples were tested under cyclic loading (10 Hz, peak stress of 45MP, minimum-to-maximum stress ratio of 0.1) until failure or reaching 10 million cycles. Ribose pre-treatment significantly improved significantly the mechanical properties of irradiation sterilized human bone in the quasi-static tensile and decalcified tests. The fatigue life of the irradiated group was impaired by 99% in comparison to the normal control. Surprisingly, the R-group has significantly superior properties over the I-group and N-group (p < 0.01, p < 0.05) (> 100%). This study shows that incubating human cortical bone in a ribose solution prior to irradiation can indeed improve the fatigue life of irradiation-sterilized cortical bone allografts.
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This work was funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and scholarships from the University of Toronto Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and Toronto Musculoskeletal Centre. We acknowledge the help of our tissue-banking partner, Mount Sinai Allograft Technologies.
This study was funded by a Collaborative Health Research Projects Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Application #290075).
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All authors declare they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors. The use of human tissues was approved by the institutional ethics board of Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto).
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Attia, T., Grynpas, M. & Willett, T. Ribose pre-treatment can protect the fatigue life of γ-irradiation sterilized bone. Cell Tissue Bank 20, 287–295 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10561-019-09767-6
- γ-Irradiation sterilization