Experiments carried out at Diamond using high energy intense beams of X-rays examined bone flexibility at the nanoscale. This allowed scientists to assess how collagen and minerals within bone flex and then break apart under load – in the nanostructure of hip bone samples.
The report’s findings suggest that doctors should look not only at bone density, but also bone flexibility, when deciding how to prevent bone breakages.
New research undertaken at Diamond’s Small Angle X-ray Scattering beamline (I22) has highlighted a gap in preventative treatment in patients prone to bone fractures. The study, published in Scientific Reports and led by Imperial College London, found that flexibility as well as density in the bone nanostructure is an important factor in assessing how likely someone is to suffer fractures.
Read more on the Diamond website
Image: Nanostructure: Collagen and mineral strain under load. Image: Shaocheng Ma, Imperial College London.