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A model for the composite nanostructure of bone suggested by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy

Cressey, B.A. and Cressey, G. (2003) A model for the composite nanostructure of bone suggested by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy Mineralogical Magazine, 67, (6), pp. 1171-1182. (doi:10.1180/0026461036760156).

Record type: Article


We have imaged the spatially-preserved microtexture of biogenic apatite, retained together with its collagen template, in non-demineralized human bone using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Using ion-beam thinning, a specimen preparation method generally employed for inorganic minerals rather than for biological materials, we have imaged a composite nanostructure of bone not previously reported, and we propose a model for this nano-architecture that involves a box-construction of apatite plates and apatite sheets. This observation provides a new understanding of bone strength at the nanometre scale and suggests how post mortem enhancement of this texture by recrystallization probably accounts for the durability of ancient bone. Modern sheep bone (a close analogue for recently dead human bone) imaged in the same way also shows evidence of this composite architecture.

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Published date: 1 December 2003
Keywords: bone, apatite, transmission electron microscopy, mineral crystals, organic matrix, lamellar bone, organization, collagen, hydroxyapatite, tomography


Local EPrints ID: 19936
ISSN: 0026-461X
PURE UUID: 4be05e5c-7a96-4d3b-9a50-6d3e63c6e270

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Date deposited: 24 Feb 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:30

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Author: B.A. Cressey
Author: G. Cressey

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