Abstract

Alterations in microstructure and mineral features can affect the mechanical and chemical properties of bones and their capacity to resist mechanical forces. Controversial results on diabetic bone mineral content have been reported and little is known about the structural alterations in collagen, maturation of apatite crystals, and carbonate content in diabetic bone. This current study is the first to report the mineral and organic properties of cortical, trabecular, and growth plate regions of diabetic rat femurs using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) microspectroscopy and the Vickers microhardness test. Femurs of type I diabetic rats were embedded into polymethylmethacrylate blocks, which were used for FT-IR imaging and microhardness studies. A lower mineral content and microhardness, a higher carbonate content especially labile type carbonate content, and an increase in size and maturation of hydroxyapatite crystals were observed in diabetic femurs, which indicate that diabetes has detrimental effects on bone just like osteoporosis. There was a decrease in the level of collagen maturity in diabetic femurs, implying a decrease in bone collagen quality that may contribute to the decrease in tensile strength and bone fragility. Taken together, the findings revealed alterations in structure and composition of mineral and matrix components, and an altered quality and mechanical strength of rat femurs in an early stage of type I diabetes. The results contribute to the knowledge of structure–function relationship of mineral and matrix components in diabetic bone disorder and can further be used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

© 2016 The Author(s)

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