Olesiak, SE and Oyen, M and Sponheimer, M and Eberle, JJ and Ferguson, VL (2006) Ultrastructural mechanical and material characterization of fossilized bone. Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, 975. pp. 45-50. ISSN 0272-9172Full text not available from this repository.
Bone plays a key role in the paleontological and archeological records and can provide insight into the biology, ecology and the environment of ancient vertebrates. Examination of bone at the tissue level reveals a definitive relationship between nanomechanical properties and the local organic content, mineral content, and microstructural organization. However, it is unclear as to how these properties change following fossilization, or diagenesis, where the organic phase is rapidly removed and the remaining mineral phase is reinforced by the deposition of apatites, calcites, and other minerals. While the process of diagenesis is poorly understood, its outcome clearly results in the potential for dramatic alteration of the mechanical response of biological tissues. In this study, fossilized specimens of mammalian long bones, collected from Colorado and Wyoming, were studied for mechanical variations. Nanoindentation performed in both longitudinal and transverse directions revealed preservation of bone's natural anisotropy as transverse modulus values were consistently smaller than longitudinal values. Additionally, modulus values of fossilized bone from 35.0 to 89.1 GPa increased linearly with logarithm of the sample's age. Future studies will aim to clarify what mechanical and material elements of bone are retained during diagenesis as bone becomes part of the geologic milieu. © 2007 Materials Research Society.
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