News Column

Investigators at University Medical Center Report Findings in Experimental Gerontology

June 20, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Health & Medicine Week -- Current study results on Aging Research have been published. According to news originating from Hamburg, Germany, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "To unravel the origins of decreased bone strength in the superolateral femoral neck, we assessed bone structural features across multiple length scales at this cortical fracture initiating region in postmenopausal women with hip fracture and in aged-matched controls. Our combined methodological approach encompassed atomic force microscopy (AFM) characterization of cortical bone nano-structure, assessment of mineral content/distribution via quantitative backscattered electron imaging (qBEI), measurement of bone material properties by reference point indentation, aswell as evaluation of cortical micro-architecture and osteocyte lacunar density."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from University Medical Center, "Our findings revealed a wide range of differences between the fracture group and the controls, suggesting a number of detrimental changes at various levels of cortical bone hierarchical organization that may render bone fragile. Namely, mineral crystals at external cortical bone surfaces of the fracture group were larger (65.22 nm +/- 41.21 nm vs. 36.75 nm +/- 18.49 nm, p< 0.001), and a shift to a higher mineral content and more homogenous mineralization profile as revealed via qBEI were found in the bone matrix of the fracture group. Fracture cases showed nearly 35% higher cortical porosity and showed significantly reduced osteocyte lacunar density compared to controls (226 +/- 27 vs. 247 +/- 32 #/mm2, p= 0.05). Along with increased crystal size, a shift towards higher mineralization and a tendency to increased cortical porosity and reduced osteocyte lacunar number delineate that cortical bone of the superolateral femoral neck bears distinct signs of fragility at various levels of its structural organization."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "These results contribute to the understanding of hierarchical bone structure changes in age-related fragility."

For more information on this research see: Nano-structural, compositional and micro-architectural signs of cortical bone fragility at the superolateral femoral neck in elderly hip fracture patients vs. healthy aged controls. Experimental Gerontology, 2014;55():19-28. Experimental Gerontology can be contacted at: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, England. (Elsevier -; Experimental Gerontology -

The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from P. Milovanovic, Eppendorf University Medical Center, Dept. of Osteol & Biomech, D-22529 Hamburg, Germany. Additional authors for this research include Z. Rakocevic, D. Djonic, V. Zivkovic, M. Hahn, S. Nikolic, M. Amling, B. Busse and M. Djuric (see also Aging Research).

Keywords for this news article include: Europe, Hamburg, Germany, Aging Research

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Source: Health & Medicine Week

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