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Foley, Brittany; Greiner, Martina; McGlynn, George; Schmahl, Wolfgang W. (October 2020): Anatomical Variation of Human Bone Bioapatite Crystallography. In: Crystals, Vol. 10, No. 10
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This systematic investigation of bioapatite, the mineral component of human bone, aims to characterize its crystallographic state, including lattice parameters and average crystallite size, and correlate these values with respect to anatomical position (bone function), physicality, and bone chemical composition. In sample sets of buried bone from three different human adult skeletons, anatomical variation of crystallographic parameters and correlation to chemical composition were indeed observed. In general, the observed bioapatite a unit-cell edge-length among all analyzed human bones in this study was larger by 0.1-0.2% compared to that of stoichiometric hydroxylapatite (HAp), and substantially larger than that of fluorapatite (FAp). Across all analyzed samples, the a (=b) lattice parameter (unit cell edge-length) varies more than does the c lattice parameter. Average crystallite size (average coherent diffracting domain size) in the c-direction was equal to approximately 25 nm, ranging among the analyzed 18 bone samples from about 20-32 nm, and varying more than crystallite size in the a,b-direction (similar to 8-10 nm). Neither lattice parameters nor average bioapatite crystallite sizes appeared to be correlated with bone mechanical function. The relative chemical composition of the bone material, however, was shown to correlate with the a (=b) lattice parameter. To our knowledge, this research provides, for the first time, the systematic study of the crystallographic parameters of human bone bioapatite in the context of anatomical position, physical constitution, and bone chemical composition using X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).