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The Orientation of Nanoscale Apatite Platelets in Relation to Osteoblastic-Osteocyte Lacunae on Trabecular Bone Surface.

Journal article
Authors Furqan A. Shah
Ezio Zanghellini
Aleksandar Matic
Peter Thomsen
Anders Palmquist
Published in Calcified Tissue International
Volume 98
Issue 2
Pages 193-205
ISSN 0171-967X
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Biomaterials
Pages 193-205
Language en
Keywords Bone, Biomineralisation, Osteoblastic-osteocyte, Lacuna, Trabecular bone, Electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy
Subject categories Biomaterials


The orientation of nanoscale mineral platelets was quantitatively evaluated in relation to the shape of lacunae associated with partially embedded osteocytes (osteoblastic-osteocytes) on the surface of deproteinised trabecular bone of adult sheep. By scanning electron microscopy and image analysis, the mean orientation of mineral platelets at the osteoblastic-osteocyte lacuna (Ot.Lc) floor was found to be 19° ± 14° in the tibia and 20° ± 14° in the femur. Further, the mineral platelets showed a high degree of directional coherency: 37 ± 7 % in the tibia and 38 ± 9 % in the femur. The majority of Ot.Lc in the tibia (69.37 %) and the femur (74.77 %) exhibited a mean orientation of mineral platelets between 0° and 25°, with the largest fraction within a 15°-20° range, 17.12 and 19.8 % in the tibia and femur, respectively. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy were used to characterise the features observed on the anorganic bone surface. The Ca/P (atomic %) ratio was 1.69 ± 0.1 within the Ot.Lc and 1.68 ± 0.1 externally. Raman spectra of NaOCl-treated bone showed peaks associated with carbonated apatite: ν1, ν2 and ν4 PO4 (3-), and ν1 CO3 (2-), while the collagen amide bands were greatly reduced in intensity compared to untreated bone. The apatite-to-collagen ratio increased considerably after deproteinisation; however, the mineral crystallinity and the carbonate-to-phosphate ratios were unaffected. The ~19°-20° orientation of mineral platelets in at the Ot.Lc floor may be attributable to a gradual rotation of osteoblasts in successive layers relative to the underlying surface, giving rise to the twisted plywood-like pattern of lamellar bone.

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