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Biophys J. 2000 Oct;79(4):1737-46.

Mineralized collagen fibrils: a mechanical model with a staggered arrangement of mineral particles.

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Institute for Metal Physics, University of Leoben, Erich Schmid Institute of Materials Science, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Leoben, Austria.


Both elastic modulus and fracture stress are known to increase with the amount of mineral deposited within collagen fibrils. Current mechanical models of mineralized fibrils, where mineral platelets are arranged in parallel arrays, reproduce the first effect but fail to predict an increase in fracture stress. Here, we propose a model with a staggered array of platelets that is in better agreement with results on molecular packing in collagen fibrils and that accounts for an increase of both elastic modulus and fracture stress with the amount of mineral in the fibril. Finally, we explore the dependence of the mechanical properties within the model, when the degree of mineralization and the thickness of the platelets as well as their distance varies.

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