Journal Article

Validation of speed of sound for the assessment of cortical bone maturity

E. C. Rose, M. Hagenmüller, I. E. Jonas and B. A. Rahn

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 27, issue 2, pages 190-195
Published in print April 2005 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejo/cjh091
Validation of speed of sound for the assessment of cortical bone maturity

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Bone changes its structural and physical properties during maturation. In order to validate ultrasound measurements with regard to their usefulness in assessing cortical bone maturation, speed of sound (SOS) data were compared with mechanical properties (elastic modulus, bending strength, and cortical surface hardness), density and water content. Thirty pig mandibles were selected from three different age groups. Rectangular specimens of the buccal cortical bone of the body of the mandible were prepared. SOS was measured with pulsed ultrasound at a frequency of 2 MHz in all three dimensions, bone mineral density (BMD) by quantitative computed tomography, breaking strength and apparent elastic modulus in a three-point bending test to failure, water content using the lyophilization technique, and micro-indentation hardness using a modified Vickers' technique.

While SOS in all three directions, BMD, surface hardness, and bending strength increased significantly (P < 0.001), bone tissue water content decreased significantly (P < 0.001) with age. Changes in the elastic modulus were not significant. Changes in SOS in the antero-posterior and apico-occlusal directions can be partly explained by BMD. In a bucco-lingual direction the increase is inadequately explained by the physical parameters investigated, and has possibly to be attributed to structural differences. Maturation of the mandible implies changes in its architectural organization, in material composition, and in the mechanical properties of cortical bone.

In vitro SOS measurements reflect different structural and physical properties that are all age dependent. It thus seems feasible that age-related changes in bone maturation could be monitored by SOS measurements.

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Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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