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Nanoscale mechanisms in age-related hip-fractures

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-69783-5 DOI Help

Authors: Shaocheng Ma (Imperial College London) , En Lin Goh (MSk Laboratory) , Tabitha Tay (MSk Laboratory) , Crispin C. Wiles (MSk Laboratory; University of Warwick) , Oliver Boughton (MSk Laboratory) , John H. Churchwell (University College London (UCL)) , Yong Wu (University of Leicester Medical School) , Angelo Karunaratne (University of Moratuwa) , Rajarshi Bhattacharya (Imperial College London) , Nick Terrill (Diamond Light Source) , Justin P. Cobb (MSk Laboratory) , Ulrich Hansen (Imperial College London) , Richard L. Abel (MSk Laboratory)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Scientific Reports , VOL 10

State: Published (Approved)
Published: August 2020
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 17664

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Nanoscale mineralized collagen fibrils may be important determinants of whole-bone mechanical properties and contribute to the risk of age-related fractures. In a cross-sectional study nano- and tissue-level mechanics were compared across trabecular sections from the proximal femora of three groups (n = 10 each): ageing non-fractured donors (Controls); untreated fracture patients (Fx-Untreated); bisphosphonate-treated fracture patients (Fx-BisTreated). Collagen fibril, mineral and tissue mechanics were measured using synchrotron X-Ray diffraction of bone sections under load. Mechanical data were compared across groups, and tissue-level data were regressed against nano. Compared to controls fracture patients exhibited significantly lower critical tissue strain, max strain and normalized strength, with lower peak fibril and mineral strain. Bisphosphonate-treated exhibited the lowest properties. In all three groups, peak mineral strain coincided with maximum tissue strength (i.e. ultimate stress), whilst peak fibril strain occurred afterwards (i.e. higher tissue strain). Tissue strain and strength were positively and strongly correlated with peak fibril and mineral strains. Age-related fractures were associated with lower peak fibril and mineral strain irrespective of treatment. Indicating earlier mineral disengagement and the subsequent onset of fibril sliding is one of the key mechanisms leading to fracture. Treatments for fragility should target collagen-mineral interactions to restore nano-scale strain to that of healthy bone.

Journal Keywords: Biochemistry; Diseases; Structural biology; Trauma

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials

Instruments: I22-Small angle scattering & Diffraction


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