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RE: Bone -- Internal Modelling Relative to Attitude

>  Dr. BÃker, this is mostly in line with what I wanted to know, or at
> least a further line to pursue information. I am looking for
> information regarding bone tissues outside of the long bones, that
> do not undergo typical loading regimes as in those of the limbs, but
> may still be loaded and thus would still be relevant to the
> orientation of the fibers surrounding the osteons. 

AFAIK, most references deal with long bones where the loading pattern
is clear.  Vincent (Structural biomaterials, p. 187) shows a plot of
the hydroxyapatite crystal orientation in a scapula which is aligned
with the expected muscle loads.

> So this is
> particularly helpful, and I thank you. Almost certainly, this is
> relevant in cases were bone attitude (position in relation to the
> animal or ground) and orientation such as the scapula or the
> vertabrae can indicate the average of the positions the bone is
> regularly subjected to in life. It would also be interesting to see
> if the loading in vertebrae is important enough that it might allow
> us to subject primary anatomical data to such bones to assess
> attitude of organ systems, such as the spinal column.

Good idea - I'm not aware of any investigations in this
regard. Since vertebrae are usually trabecular bone, the
osteons will probably be mainly be oriented along the trabeculae. So
it might also be interesting to look at trabecular orientation. Of
course this will be further complicated by muscles, tendons and
ligaments which also affect the load patterns on the vertebrae. In any
case, it might be fun to compare vertebra-miscrostructure for
animals with differently oriented spines.

All the best,


                   Priv.-Doz. Dr. Martin BÃker
                   Institut fÃr Werkstoffe
                   Technische UniversitÃt Braunschweig
                   Langer Kamp 8
                   38106 Braunschweig
                   Tel.: 00-49-531-391-3073
                   Fax   00-49-531-391-3058
                   e-mail <martin.baeker@tu-bs.de>