Shrinkage of bone and other mineralized Type 1 collagen tissues when the tissue is dried has been observed for a long time. It is anisotropic with respect to the orientation of the bone structure. It is linearly dependent on the inverse wet tissue density (specific volume) in the radial direction but not in the axial direction. The volume fraction of water in the tissue has also been shown to be linearly dependent on the inverse and other wet density leading to a direct relation between the shrinkage and the volume fraction of water. Shrinkage may be determined on any scale, macroscopic to microscopic but volume fraction of water is closely related to the lateral spacing of the collagen molecules, that is on the scale of nm. The linear dependence of shrinkage on volume fraction shows the generalized packing model underlies bone structure and is due to the properties of collagen molecules assembled in sheets.
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The author thanks NIH for supporting the research from which the data in this paper is drawn; The Forsyth Institute for providing support; Susan Orlando for providing library searches; Dr. Douglas B. Hanson for supervising some of the research and assistance in developing the concepts; and Jeff Seideman for assistance with the manuscript.