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Chemistry of bone mineral, based on the hypermineralized rostrum of the beaked whale Mesoplodon densirostris

Zhen Li and Jill D. Pasteris
Chemistry of bone mineral, based on the hypermineralized rostrum of the beaked whale Mesoplodon densirostris
American Mineralogist (April 2014) 99 (4): 645-653

Abstract

Carbonate-substituted hydroxylapatite is the inorganic component in bone. The nanometer size of bone crystallites and their interweaving with subequal volumes of collagen fibrils make the chemical analysis of the bone mineral extremely difficult. The few chemical analyses that are available commonly were made on ashed bone, which, in addition to mineral, also includes chemical residues of collagen. For the present study, we chose the rostrum of the whale Mesoplodon densirostris. Its mineral content of up to 96 wt% makes it an ideal material for pursuing the chemistry of bioapatite within bone. Both bulk (X-ray fluorescence, thermogravimetry, and carbon analysis) and point analyses and element mapping (electron microprobe) were applied to this densest of bone materials. Its bioapatite has an average carbonate content of approximately 8 wt% and an average Ca/P atomic ratio of 1.7. The rostrum shows extremely low-concentration trace elements (Al, Si, Fe, Ti, and Sr) and some minor elements (K and Cl) as in typical bone materials. Homogeneity of elemental distribution is demonstrated in typical mineral-dominated areas within the rostrum sections except around a few vascular holes and vessels. The very good correlation between electron microprobe point analyses and the XRF bulk analyses of the rostrum indicate the latter to be a useful chemical model of bone mineral. The bulk analysis shows that the bioapatite in the rostrum has an average composition of (Ca (sub 8.40) Mg (sub 0.20) Na (sub 0.54) )[(PO (sub 4) ) (sub 4.87) (CO (sub 3) ) (sub 1.13) ](OH) (sub 0 .87) .


ISSN: 0003-004X
EISSN: 1945-3027
Coden: AMMIAY
Serial Title: American Mineralogist
Serial Volume: 99
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Chemistry of bone mineral, based on the hypermineralized rostrum of the beaked whale Mesoplodon densirostris
Affiliation: Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, St. Louis, MO, United States
Pages: 645-653
Published: 201404
Text Language: English
Publisher: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, United States
References: 60
Accession Number: 2014-030300
Categories: Mineralogy of non-silicates
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 6 tables
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, copyright, Mineralogical Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201419
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