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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

Strain-induced optical changes in demineralized bone
Author(s): Michael R. Hardisty; Daniel F. Kienle; Tonya L. Kuhl; Susan M. Stover; David P. Fyhrie

Paper Abstract

Bone “stress-whitens,” becoming visibly white during mechanical loading, immediately prior to failure. Stress-whitening is known to make materials tougher by dissipating mechanical energy. A greater understanding of stress-whitening, both an optical and mechanical phenomenon, may help explain age-related increases in fracture risk that occur without changes in bone mineralization. In this work, we directly measure the optical properties of demineralized bone as a function of deformation and immersing fluid (with different hydrogen-bonding potentials, water, and ethanol). The change in refractive index of demineralized bone was linear: with deformation and not applied force. Changes in refractive index were likely due to pushing low-refractive-index fluid out of specimens and secondarily due to changes in the refractive index of the collagenous phase. Results were consistent with stress-whitening of demineralized bone previously observed. In ethanol, the refractive index values were lower and less sensitive to deformation compared with deionized water, corroborating the sensitivity to fluid hydration. Differences in refractive index were consistent with structural changes in the collagenous phase such as densification that may also occur under mechanical loading. Understanding bone quality, particularly stress-whitening investigated here, may lead to new therapeutic targets and noninvasive methods to assess bone quality.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 March 2014
PDF: 8 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 19(3) 035001 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.19.3.035001
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 19, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Michael R. Hardisty, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
Daniel F. Kienle, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
Tonya L. Kuhl, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
Susan M. Stover, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
David P. Fyhrie, UC Davis Medical Ctr. (United States)

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