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Titolo: Chemical etching in processing cortical bone specimens for scanning electron microscopy
Data di pubblicazione: 2014
Abstract: Transverse and longitudinal sectioning of undecalcified cortical bone is a commonly employed technique for investigating the lamellar structure of the osteons. Since a flat surface is required, the specimen has to be grinded and then polished. Whereas the smear of debris and inorganic/organic deposits left by these treatments cannot be removed by ultrasonication alone, a chemical treatment of the specimen surface with either a basic or an acid etching solution is currently employed. A further effect of the latter can be the enhancement of the lamellar bone pattern. The kind of etching solution, its pH, the concentration of etchants, and the contact time significantly affect the sectioned surface when it is observed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The etching procedures can severely influence the obtained images. Homogeneous cortical bone specimens were sampled from the first metatarsal of two fresh human subjects. One or two cut surfaces were exposed to different acid and basic solutions in bonded conditions. Considering the type of chemical agents, the solution pH, and the exposure time of the specimens, the effects of several etching media have been investigated and compared. Strong etching, either acid or basic produced surface decalcification and severe damage of the collagen matrix, compromising any morphological or morphometric analysis. Weak acid etching (for example citric and acetic acid), even though causing distinctive alteration of the sample, enhanced the visibility of the lamellar pattern, while the polyphosphate treatment of the surface decalcified a thin layer matrix, ensuring a good visibility of fibrils and avoiding rough distortions.
Tipologia:1.1 Articolo in rivista

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