Intrinsic material properties of cortical bone

Gloria E. Lopez Franco, Robert D. Blank, Mohammed P. Akhter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The G171V mutation (high bone mass, HBM) is autosomal dominant and is responsible for high bone mass in humans. Transgenic HBM mice in which the human LRP5 G171V gene is inserted also show a similar phenotype with greater bone mass and biomechanical performance than wild-type mice, as determined by whole bone testing. Whole bone mechanics, however, depend jointly on bone mass, architecture, and intrinsic bone tissue mechanical properties. To determine whether the HBM mutation affects tissue-level biomechanical performance, we performed nano-indentation testing of unembedded cortical bone from HBM mice and their nontransgenic (NTG) littermates. Femora from 17-week-old mice (female, 8 mice/genotype) were subjected to nano-indentation using a Triboscope (Hysitron, Minneapolis, MN, USA). For each femoral specimen, approximately 10 indentations were made on the midshaft anterior surface with a target force of either 3 or 9 mN at a constant loading rate of 400 mN/s. The load-displacement data from each test were used to calculate indentation modulus and hardness for bone tissue. The intrinsic material property that reflected the bone modulus was greater (48%) in the HBM as compared to the NTG mice. Our results of intrinsic properties are consistent with the published structural and material properties of the midshaft femur in HBM and NTG mice. The greater intrinsic modulus in HBM reflects greater bone mineral content as compared to NTG (wild-type, WT) mice. This study suggests that the greater intrinsic property of cortical bone is derived from the greater bone mineral content and BMD, resulting in greater bone strength in HBM as compared to NTG (WT) mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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