Role of Collagenous and Non-Collagenous Components in Biological Calcification

  • Ermaimo Bonucci
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 93)


Although calcification is one of the most diffuse biological processes, it has often been studied selectively in a few tissues, above all bone, cartilage and enamel which represent the most important calcified tissues of vertebrates. However, the list of tissues which can calcify is much longer, because it includes invertebrate eso- and endo-skeleton spines and otholiths, bird and insect eggs, larval cuticles, keratins, bacteria, etc. (Pautard, 1966). Moreover, pathological calcification can occur in a great number of tissues and structures (Bonucci, 1981; 1984). It is possible to say that calcification can occur in every type of organic matrix or,at least, that every organic matrix can be made calcifiable (Bonucci, 1981). Consequently, studies of the calcification process in selected tissues, and lack of comparative investigations on other tissues and organisms, can prevent the attainement of a general theory of calcification, if any, and can induce to consider that each calcifiable matrix has its own calcification mechanism. However, this seems improbable: although the chemical composition and morphological structure of the mineral component and organic matrices can change in different tissues, it is reasonable to suppose that their basic mechanism(s) of calcification are always the same (Bonucci, 1984).


Collagen Fibril Calcify Tissue Inorganic Substance Compact Bone Matrix Vesicle 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ermaimo Bonucci
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human Biopathology Section of Pathological AnatomyUniversity “La Sapienza”RomeItaly

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