Multiscale characterization of ovariectomized rat femur

Jie Liu, Eun Kyoung Kim, Ai Ni, Yong Rak Kim, Fengyuan Zheng, Beth S. Lee, Do Gyoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Estrogen deficiency activates bone resorbing cells (osteoclasts) and to a lesser extent bone forming cells (osteoblasts), resulting in a gap between resorption and formation that leads to a net loss of bone. These cell activities alter bone architecture and tissue composition. Thus, the objective of this study is to examine whether multiscale (10-2 to 10-7 m) characterization can provide more integrated information to understand the effects of estrogen deficiency on the fracture risk of bone. This is the first study to examine the effects of estrogen deficiency on multiscale characteristics of the same bone specimen. Sprague-Dawley female rats (6 months old) were obtained for a bilateral ovariectomy (OVX) or a sham operation (sham). Micro-computed tomography of rat femurs provided bone volumetric, mineral density, and morphological parameters. Dynamic mechanical analysis, static elastic and fracture mechanical testing, and nanoindentation were also performed using the same femur. As expected, the current findings indicate that OVX reduces bone quantity (mass and bone mineral density) and quality (morphology, and fracture displacement). Additionally, they demonstrated reductions in amount and heterogeneity of tissue mineral density (TMD) and viscoelastic properties. The current results validate that multiscale characterization for the same bone specimen can provide more comprehensive insights to understand how the bone components contributed to mechanical behavior at different scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110462
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
StatePublished - Jun 9 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project described here was supported by Grant Number AG033714 from the National Institute on Aging (Kim, D-G) and an American Association of Orthodontists Foundation Award (Kim, D-G). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Aging.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Bone micro-CT
  • Estrogen
  • Matrix mineralization
  • Nanoindentation
  • Osteoporosis


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