Towards new material biomarkers for fracture risk

C. Greenwood, J. Clement, A. Dicken, J.P.O. Evans, I. Lyburn, R.M. Martin, K. Rogers, N. Stone, P. Zioupos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
242 Downloads (Pure)


Osteoporosis is a prevalent bone condition, characterised by low bone mass and increased fracture risk. Currently, the gold standard for identifying osteoporosis and increased fracture risk is through quantification of bone mineral density (BMD) using dual energy X-ray absorption (DEXA). However, the risk of osteoporotic fracture is determined collectively by bone mass, architecture and physicochemistry of the mineral composite building blocks. Thus DEXA scans alone inevitably fail to fully discriminate individuals who will suffer a fragility fracture. This study examines trabecular bone at both ultrastructure and microarchitectural levels to provide a detailed material view of bone, and therefore provides a more comprehensive explanation of osteoporotic fracture risk. Physicochemical characterisation obtained through X-ray diffraction and infrared analysis indicated significant differences in apatite crystal chemistry and nanostructure between fracture and non-fracture groups. Further, this study, through considering the potential correlations between the chemical biomarkers and microarchitectural properties of trabecular bone, has investigated the relationship between bone mechanical properties (e.g. fragility) and physicochemical material features.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
Early online date10 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Aging
  • Bone quality
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Osteoporosis
  • Trabecular bone
  • X-ray diffraction


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