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Comparative Study
. 2013 Apr;9(4):5956-62.
doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2012.11.032. Epub 2012 Dec 6.

Osteonal Lamellae Elementary Units: Lamellar Microstructure, Curvature and Mechanical Properties

Comparative Study

Osteonal Lamellae Elementary Units: Lamellar Microstructure, Curvature and Mechanical Properties

Anna Faingold et al. Acta Biomater. .


The mechanical and structural properties of the sublayers of osteonal lamellae were studied. Young's modulus (E) of adjacent individual lamellae was measured by nanoindentation of parallel slices every 1-3 μm, in planes parallel and perpendicular to the osteon axis (OA). In planes parallel to the OA, the modulus of a lamella could vary significantly between sequential slices. Significant modulus variations were also sometimes found on opposing sides of the osteonal canal for the same lamella. These results are rationalized by considerations involving the microstructural organization of the collagen fibrils in the lamellae. Scanning electron microscope imaging of freeze fractured surfaces revealed that the substructure of a single lamella can vary significantly on the opposing sides of the osteonal axis. Using a serial surface view method, parallel planes were exposed every 8-10 nm using a dual-beam microscope. Analysis of the orientations of fibrils revealed that the structure is rotated plywood like, consisting of unidirectional sublayers of fibrils of several orientations, with occasional randomly oriented sublayers. The dependence of the measured mechanical properties of the lamellae on the indentation location may be explained by the observed structure, as well as by the curvature of the osteonal lamellae through simple geometrical-structural considerations. Mechanical advantages arising from the curved laminate structure are discussed.

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