Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Bone. 2006 Sep;39(3):434-42. Epub 2006 Apr 19.

Raman spectroscopic evidence for octacalcium phosphate and other transient mineral species deposited during intramembranous mineralization.

Author information

  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1055, USA.


To understand early mineralization events, we studied living murine calvarial tissue by Raman spectroscopy using fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2)-soaked porous beads. We detected increased levels of a transient phase resembling octacalcium phosphate in sutures undergoing premature suture closure.


Several calcium phosphates have been postulated as the earliest inorganic precursors to bone mineral. They are unstable and have not been previously detected in tissue specimens. Whether the same intermediates are formed in sutures undergoing premature closure is also unknown.


Six coronal suture tissue specimens from fetal day 18.5 B6CBA F1/J wild-type mice were studied. Three sutures specimens were treated with FGF2-soaked heparin acrylic beads to induce accelerated mineralization and premature suture closure. Three control specimens were treated with empty heparin acrylic beads. All sutures were maintained as organ cultures to permit repeated spectral analyses at 12-24 h intervals over a 72-h period.


During the first 24 h, the spectra contained bands of octacalcium phosphate (OCP) or an OCP-like mineral. The main phosphorus-oxygen stretch was at 955 cm(-1), instead of the 957-959 cm(-1) seen in bone mineral, and there was an additional band at 1010-1014 cm(-1), as expected for OCP. A broad band was found at 945 cm(-1), characteristic of a highly disordered or amorphous calcium phosphate. An increased amount of mineral was observed in FGF2-treated sutures, but no qualitative differences in Raman spectra were observed between experimental and control specimens.


Inorganic mineral deposition proceeds through transient intermediates, including an OCP-like phase. Although this transient phase has been observed in purely inorganic model systems, this study is the first to report OCP or an OCP-like intermediate in living tissue. Raman microspectroscopy allows observation of this transient mineral and may allow observation of other precursors as well.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk