Collagen mineralization: Aspects of the structural relationship between collagen and the apatitic crystallites

Part of the Electron Microscopy in Biology and Medicine book series (EMBM, volume 7)


Concerning the biomechanical function of the different hard tissues, it is important to analyze the gross arrangement of the mineralized collagen fiber bundles. While the characteristic pattern of parallel-arranged fiber bundles has been described in the lamellae of the osteons, the collagen fibers in dentine form a network. We shall concentrate on the small dimensions of the collagen fibers with reference to the way in which the interior and the surface regions of the fibers are mineralized. At this point it should be also mentioned that normally the whole collagen fibers in the different hard tissues become mineralized. However, when the collagen fibers are parallely arranged in thicker bundles, as in lamellar bone, cementum, and turkey tibia tendon, interior regions might exist that are less mineralized, probably because of a restricted influx of Ca and phosphate ions. Further, the minieralization of the surface region of the collagen fibers is connected with bound noncollagenous proteins.


Collagen Fiber Triple Helix Collagen Structure Collagen Molecule Crystal Nucleation 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute für MedizinischePhysik der Universität MünsterMünsterGermany

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