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Effects of processing and gamma radiation on mechanical properties and organic composition of frozen, freeze-dried and demineralised human cortical bone allograft

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Bone processing and radiation were reported to influence mechanical properties of cortical bones due in part to structural changes and denaturation of collagen composition. This comparative study was to determine effects of bone processing on mechanical properties and organic composition, and to what extent the radiation damaging after each processing. Human femur cortical bones were processed by freezing, freeze-drying and demineralisation and then gamma irradiated at 5, 15, 20, 25 and 50 kGy. In the compression test, freeze drying significantly decreased the Young’s Modulus by 15%, while demineralisation reduced further by 90% (P < 0.05) when compared to the freezing. Only demineralisation significantly reduced ultimate strength of bone by 93% (P < 0.05). In the bending test, both freeze drying and demineralisation significantly reduced the ultimate strength and the work to failure. Radiation at 25 kGy showed no effect on compression for ultimate strength in each processing group. However, high dose of 50 kGy significantly reduced bending ultimate strength by 47% in demineralisation group. Alterations in collagen in bones irradiated at 25 and 50 kGy showed by the highest peak of the amide I collagen in the Fourier Transfer Infra-Red spectra indicating more collagen was exposed after calcium was removed in the demineralised bone, however radiation showed no effect on the collagen crosslink. The study confirmed that demineralisation further reduced the ability to resist deformation in response to an applied force in freeze-dried bones due to calcium reduction and collagen composition. Sterilisation dose of 25 kGy has no effect on mechanical properties and collagen composition of the processed human cortical bone.

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The authors would like to thank Ms Nurhafizatul Nadia Hanafi from UMMC Bone Bank, Mr Mohd Khalil Salleh from Faculty of Medicine, UM for their technical assistance. Specials thanks for Dr Ardiyanshah Syahrom from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia for allowing us using the facilities. The study acknowledged funding from University of Malaya Research Grant Scheme.


University of Malaya Research Grant Scheme (Grant no: RG542-13HTM).

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NY, AM and NWM were involved in the design and the monitoring of the experiments, AFA, SM and SR conducted the experiments and analyzed the data. APMS assisted in biomechanical test and provided technical advice on biomechanical tests and assisted in the interpretation of results. RB handled the irradiated of the samples. AFA, SM and NY prepared the manuscript and all authors read and approved the final version.

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Correspondence to Azura Mansor.

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The authors declared that they have no conflict of interests.

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The approval by the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) ethical committee was granted before commencing the study (Approval no: 1037.8).

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Mansor, A., Ariffin, A.F., Yusof, N. et al. Effects of processing and gamma radiation on mechanical properties and organic composition of frozen, freeze-dried and demineralised human cortical bone allograft. Cell Tissue Bank 24, 25–35 (2023).

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