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Nanomechanical characterization of tissue engineered bone grown on titanium alloy in vitro

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jinju Chen, Dr Mark Birch, Professor Steve BullORCiD


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Intensive work has been performed on the characterization of the mechanical properties of mineralised tissues formed in vivo. However, the mechanical properties of bone-like tissue formed in vitro have rarely been characterised. Most research has either focused on compact cortical bone or cancellous bone, whilst leaving woven bone unaddressed. In this study, bone-like mineralised matrix was produced by osteoblasts cultured in vitro on the surface of titanium alloys. The volume of this tissue-engineered bone is so small that the conventional tensile tests or bending tests are implausible. Therefore, nanoindentation techniques which allow the characterization of the test material from the nanoscale to the microscale were adopted. These reveal the apparent elastic modulus and hardness of the calcospherulite crystals (a representative element for woven bone) are 2.35 +/- A 0.73 and 0.41 +/- A 0.15 GPa, respectively. The nanoscale viscoelasticity of such woven bone was further assessed by dynamic indentation analysis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chen JJ, Birch MA, Bull SJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine

Year: 2010

Volume: 21

Issue: 1

Pages: 277-282

ISSN (print): 0957-4530

ISSN (electronic): 1573-4838

Publisher: Springer New York LLC


DOI: 10.1007/s10856-009-3843-9


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