Multiscale characterization of bone mineral: new perspectives in structural imaging using X-ray and electron diffraction contrast

Abstract : Bone tissue is a biological composite material organized in several hierarchical levels that spread over more than 8 orders of magnitude in length scales, which is made of three principal components: collagen molecules, mineral nanocrystals and water. A fundamental understanding of how the mineral structure of bone tissue is organized at different length scales is essential for the biomedical community. To answer this demand, we applied novel methods currently in development for materials science to characterize the mineral phase: coherent X-ray diffraction imaging (CXDI), automated crystal orientation mapping with transmission electron microscope (ACOM-TEM) and pair distribution function analysis (PDF) of X-ray diffraction patterns. Bone tissue was investigated from its sub-angstrom arrangement, taking into account chemical composition and interatomic bond lengths shifts, through individual crystal organization (one crystal with respect to the next), to their micrometer organization with nanometer resolution, also allowing resolving the nanoporosity structure within the tissue. Beside the investigation of native bovine tissues, heated bones that are of interest in archeology, anthropology and forensic science, were used as a model to test for the applicability and sensitivity of the different methods for such biological materials. Moreover, a first insight into pathological bone tissues enabled to show that the structural differences of particular pathologies in comparison to healthy state can be observed already at the sub-angstrom scale (as seen from interatomic bonds shifts). The sample preparation described, the experimental setups and data analysis schemes could, furthermore, be applied to bone tissue at different anatomical location, with different degree of tissue maturation, to different species and pathological cases. Bone-like tissues such as dentin and antler as well as inorganic multiscale-porous materials could also be analyzed by the proposed scheme. Understanding the nanostructural characteristics of bone tissue is therefore useful to identify key structural markers of pathological human bone. This strategy could have an impact on future developments of new tools for diagnostic or to assess the effectiveness of pharmaceutical treatments.
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Mariana Verezhak <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 10:50:39 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 9:24:02 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-01576447, version 1



Mariana Verezhak. Multiscale characterization of bone mineral: new perspectives in structural imaging using X-ray and electron diffraction contrast. Materials Science [cond-mat.mtrl-sci]. Communauté Universite Grenoble Alpes, 2016. English. ⟨tel-01576447⟩



Record views


Files downloads