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Regional variation in the microhardness and mineral content of porcine long bones

By Heather Bonney, Belinda Colston and A. M. Goodman


Pig carcasses are frequently used as models for the human cadaver in the study of trauma and wound patterns. Limited availability and ethical concerns over the use of human tissue has meant that porcine bone is often used as a substitute for human bone in such studies. However, there is a lack of comprehensive mechanical data to make informed decisions on the choice of model to account for variations in the age, sex and body mass.\ud In this study, variation in the properties of cortical bone along the length of the porcine humerus and ulna, from five female pigs aged over 36 months, was investigated by using Vickers microhardness tests. Transverse sections were taken from the proximal, mid and distal regions of the diaphyses, and tests were carried out in the anterior, medial, posterior, and lateral quadrants. Microhardness was also measured across the cortex from the periosteal to endosteal surfaces. Regional variation in mineral content was explored by analysing samples, taken immediately adjacent to the hardness tests, using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy.\ud Mechanical data are discussed in relation to mineral content, morphology and loading of the limbs, within a forensic context

Topics: B830 Biomechanics, Biomaterials and Prosthetics (non-clinical), F400 Forensic and Archaeological Science
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2007.01.226
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