Mapping the 3D orientation of nanocrystals and nanostructures in human bone: Indications of novel structural features
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020
Bone is built from collagen fibrils and biomineral nanoparticles. In humans, they are organized in lamellar twisting patterns on the microscale. It has been a central tenet that the biomineral nanoparticles are co-aligned with the bone nanostructure. Here, we reconstruct the three-dimensional orientation in human lamellar bone of both the nanoscale features and the biomineral crystal lattice from small-angle x-ray scattering and wide-angle x-ray scattering, respectively. While most of the investigated regions show well-aligned nanostructure and crystal structure, consistent with current bone models, we report a localized difference in orientation distribution between the nanostructure and the biomineral crystals in specific bands. Our results show a robust and systematic, but localized, variation in the alignment of the two signals, which can be interpreted as either an additional mineral fraction in bone, a preferentially aligned extrafibrillar fraction, or the result of transverse stacking of mineral particles over several fibrils.