Determination of bone's mechanical matrix properties by nanoindentation

Methods Mol Biol. 2008;455:323-34. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-104-8_22.


Osteoporosis is a devastating disease that is characterized not only by a reduction in bone quantity but also by deterioration in bone quality. The quality of bone tissue is greatly influenced by its mechanical properties and, therefore, investigations into the etiology and enhanced detection of osteoporosis, or the efficacy of interventions, may require the assessment of bone's mechanical properties at the level of the tissue. Nanoindentation is a relatively new technique that is capable of evaluating bone's quasi-static and dynamic mechanical properties on extremely small volumes of tissue. These data can be used directly to describe the pre-yield properties of the matrix, but can also be combined with imaging techniques and mechanical models to extrapolate the mechanical properties from the level of the tissue to that of the organ.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Matrix / anatomy & histology*
  • Bone Matrix / metabolism
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Compressive Strength
  • Nanotechnology*
  • Stress, Mechanical