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Bone quality is more than bone mineral density

Wednesday, 8 September 2010, 13.15-14 location M-building, Library
2:nd floor, room 2482.

Hanna Isaksson
Department of Physics and Mathematics, University of Eastern
Finland, Kuopio, Finland, hanna.isaksson@uef.fi
Many bone diseases, including osteoporosis, are currently diagnosed by
measuring bone mineral density (BMD) using dualenergy
Xray absorptiometry. These conditions often results in highly increased fracture
risk, which is not optimally predicted by BMD. Several factors related to
bone quality, i.e. bone architecture, geometry, composition, accumulation of
microfractures and local mechanical properties contribute significantly to
the bone’s fracture risk. Development of new coherent methods for
evaluating bone quality is necessary to improve diagnostics of osteoporosis
and other metabolic bone diseases.


In the field of bone biomechanics, this research line aims to 1) improve the
understanding of bone quality in healthy and pathological bone, 2) to
diagnose more effectively early osteoporosis and 3) to predict more
accurately the bone’s fracture risk. Specifically, we assess how aging and
osteoporosis affects the structural, compositional and mechanical properties
of trabecular bone from human cadavers.


Microcomputed tomography (μCT) is used to analyze trabecular
microarchitecture and spatial BMD. Spectroscopic methods (Fourier
transform infrared imaging) is used to quantify the organic and nonorganic
composition of the bone matrix. Mechanical testing on macro,
microand nanoscales are used to evaluate the bone mechanical properties. Here, special focus in on the bone’s viscoelastic properties, a factor that affects its toughness and critically controls the resistance to fracture. Interrelationships
between bone characteristics at microscopic and macroscopic level are
addressed using statistical and modeling techniques.

The focus of the presentation will be on the development of methods to
determine material level composition and mechanical properties of the bone,
using spectroscopic techniques and nanoindentation. For example, by using
modern clustering techniques, instruments for diagnosing bone diseases are
developed. Moreover this is correlated with the elastic and viscoelastic
mechanical properties determined by nanoindentation.
Early diagnosis of metabolic bone diseases is essential for treatment and
prevention of future bone fractures. Some of the methods presented above
shows clinical potential and may be used in the future to diagnose a variety
of bone disorders.