The different distribution of enzymatic collagen cross-links found in adult and children bone result in different mechanical behavior of collagen

B Depalle and AG Duarte and IAK Fiedler and L Pujo-Menjouet and MJ Buehler and JP Berteau, BONE, 110, 107-114 (2018).

DOI: 10.1016/j.bone.2018.01.024

Enzymatic collagen cross-linking has been shown to play an important role in the macroscopic elastic and plastic deformation of bone across ages. However, its direct contribution to collagen fibril deformation is unknown. The aim of this study is to determine how covalent intermolecular connections from enzymatic collagen cross-links contribute to collagen fibril elastic and plastic deformation of adults and children's bone matrix. We used ex vivo data previously obtained from biochemical analysis of children and adults bone samples (n = 14; n = 8, respectively) to create 22 sample-specific computational models of cross-linked collagen fibrils. By simulating a tensile test for each fibril, we computed the modulus of elasticity (E), ultimate tensile and yield stress (sigma(u) and sigma(y)), and elastic, plastic and total work (W-e, W-p, and W-tot,) for each collagen fibril. We present a novel difference between children and adult bone in the deformation of the collagen phase and suggest a link between collagen fibril scale and macroscale for elastic behavior in children bone under the influence of immature enzymatic cross-links. We show a parametric linear correlation between W-e and immature enzymatic collagen cross-links at the collagen fibril scale in the children population that is similar to the one we found at the macroscale in our previous study. Finally, we suggest the key role of covalent intermolecular connections to stiffness parameters (e.g. elastic modulus and W-e) in children's collagen fibril and to toughness parameters in adult's collagen fibril, respectively. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier Inc.

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