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Bone tough

Researchers from US claim that they have ascertained the element that makes the bone tough.The researchers have depicted how collagen matrix in bones absorbs pressure on the expense of bonds that sheild the widespread structure.These bonds prevents the the bone from fracturing.//

The theory is that when a bone is put under coercion, the collagen is able to break some of these bonds, preventing the bone from fracturing.Bones have to be sturdy, and they achieve this through a combination of 'stiffness' and 'toughness'. Bone is a mixture of mineral crystals that are suspended in an organic collagen matrix. The crystals provide 'stiffness', or skeletal rigidity, explains Professor John Currey from the University of York .

The researchers used a diamond to manipulate the collagen from bone while they observed it under an atomic force microscope. They elongated the collagen to measure how much force was needed to elongate it, and how far it would go. They also pushed the diamond into the surface of the bone and measured how long it took to move back into shape.

"Bone, like abalone nacre, it is the substance that forms over a piece of grit to create pearls. The researchers describe abalone nacre as a biocomposite material with 'remarkable toughness'. In order to find out more about how the bonds work, the group 'marinated' the collagen in different substances and tried the experiments again. The collagen became harder to stretch after it has been soaked in divalent calcium ions than when it had been soaked in monovalent sodium ions.

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