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Calcif Tissue Int. 1999 May;64(5):422-9.

Scanning small angle X-ray scattering analysis of human bone sections.

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  • 1Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Osteology, 4th Medical Department, Hanusch Hospital, Heinrich Collin-Str. 30, A-1140 Vienna, Austria.


Scanning small-angle X-ray scattering (scanning SAXS) was applied for the first time on bone to compare results from SAXS directly with those from other position-sensitive methods, such as light and polarized light microscopy, back-scattered electron imaging, and radiographic imaging. Since scanning SAXS is a nondestructive method of investigation, images from all these techniques could be obtained from the same bone sections. Thus, it could be shown that both the collagen and the mineral crystals were predominantly aligned parallel to the trabeculae and, therefore, to principle stress directions. Moreover, the mean crystal thickness as determined by scanning SAXS was found to be different at various positions inside the trabecular and cortical structure. Finally, it could be shown that scanning SAXS is suitable for detecting local changes in bone material, e.g., due to fluoride treatment.

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