Effect of collagen denaturation on the toughness of bone

Xiaodu Wang, Ruud A. Bank, Johan M. TeKoppele, Gene B. Hubbard, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou, C. Mauli Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between the integrity of collagen and biomechanical properties of bone. In this study, age (range, 5-26 years old) and gender related changes in cortical bone samples from 33 baboon femurs (15 males and 18 females) were examined. The percentage of denatured collagen was determined using a selective digestion technique. The fracture toughness, elastic modulus, yield and ultimate strength, and energy to fracture of bone were determined in three-point bending configurations. The porosity and weight fractions of the mineral and organic phase also were measured. A two-way analysis of variance showed that age dependent changes were reflected primarily in the amount of denatured collagen, fracture toughness, energy to fracture, and elastic modulus, whereas gender had effects on the fracture toughness, elastic modulus, and porosity of bone. In addition, regression analyses indicated that the percentage of denatured collagen had an inverse correlation with the toughness of bone and a positive correlation with its elastic modulus, whereas mineral content had positive correlation with the strength and elastic modulus of bone. The results of this study suggest collagen influences the toughness of bone, whereas mineral content predominantly contributes to bone stiffness and strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-239
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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