Mechanical Characterization at the Microscale of Mineralized Bone Callus after Bone Lengthening

  • Roseren Flavy
  • Roffino Sandrine
  • Pithioux Martine

  • Distraction osteogenesis
  • Microindentation
  • Mineralized callus
  • Bone regeneration
  • Mechanical properties


Distraction osteogenesis (DO) involves several processes to form an organized distracted callus. While bone regeneration during DO has been widely described, no study has yet focused on the evolution profile of mechanical properties of mineralized tissues in the distracted callus. The aim of this study was therefore to measure the elastic modulus and hardness of calcified cartilage and trabecular and cortical bone within the distracted callus during the consolidation phase. We used a microindentation assay to measure the mechanical properties of periosteal and endosteal calluses; each was subdivided into two regions. Histological sections were used to localize the tissues. The results revealed that the mechanical properties of calcified cartilage did not evolve over time. However, trabecular bone showed temporal variation. For elastic modulus, in three out of four regions, a similar evolution profile was observed with an increase and decrease over time. Concerning hardness, this evolves differently depending on the location in the distracted callus. We also observed spatial changes in between regions. A first duality was apparent between regions close to the native cortices and the central area, while latter differences were seen between periosteal and endosteal calluses. Data showed a heterogeneity of mechanical properties in the distracted callus with a specific mineralization profile.