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Mapping the 3D orientation of nanocrystals and nanostructures in human bone: Indications of novel structural features

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  • Tilman A. Grünewald, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
  • ,
  • Marianne Liebi, Chalmers University of Technology
  • ,
  • Nina K. Wittig
  • Andreas Johannes, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
  • ,
  • Tanja Sikjaer
  • Lars Rejnmark
  • Zirui Gao, Paul Scherrer Institute
  • ,
  • Martin Rosenthal, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
  • ,
  • Manuel Guizar-Sicairos, Paul Scherrer Institute
  • ,
  • Henrik Birkedal
  • Manfred Burghammer, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

Bone is built from collagen fibrils and biomineral nanoparticles. In humans, they are organized in lamellar twisting patterns on the microscale. It has been a central tenet that the biomineral nanoparticles are co-aligned with the bone nanostructure. Here, we reconstruct the three-dimensional orientation in human lamellar bone of both the nanoscale features and the biomineral crystal lattice from small-angle x-ray scattering and wide-angle x-ray scattering, respectively. While most of the investigated regions show well-aligned nanostructure and crystal structure, consistent with current bone models, we report a localized difference in orientation distribution between the nanostructure and the biomineral crystals in specific bands. Our results show a robust and systematic, but localized, variation in the alignment of the two signals, which can be interpreted as either an additional mineral fraction in bone, a preferentially aligned extrafibrillar fraction, or the result of transverse stacking of mineral particles over several fibrils.

TidsskriftScience Advances
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2020

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