Comparison of small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering for studying cortical bone nanostructure

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In this study, we present a combined small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering (SANS and SAXS) study of the nanoscale structure of cortical bone specimens from three different species. The variation of the scattering cross section of elements across the periodic table is very different for neutrons and X-rays. For X-rays, it is proportional to the electron density while for neutrons it varies irregularly with the atomic number. Hence, combining the two techniques on the same specimens allows for a more detailed interpretation of the scattering patterns as compared to a single-contrast experiment. The current study was performed on bovine, porcine and ovine specimens, obtained in two perpendicular directions with respect to the main axis of the bone (longitudinal and radial) in order to maximise the understanding of the nanostructural organisation. The specimens were also imaged with high resolution micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), yielding tissue mineral density and microstructural orientation as reference. We show that the SANS and SAXS patterns from the same specimen are effectively identical, suggesting that these bone specimens can be approximated as a two-component composite material. Hence, the observed small-angle scattering results mainly from the mineral-collagen contrast, apart from minor features associated with the internal collagen structure.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Bari Aldo Moro
  • CSGI, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
  • Institut Laue Langevin
  • Paul Scherrer Institute

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Medicinsk bioteknologi
Antal sidor11
TidskriftScientific Reports
Utgåva nummer1
StatusPublished - 2020 sep 3
Peer review utfördJa