Effects of mineralization on the hierarchical organization of collagen—a synchrotron X-ray scattering and polarized second harmonic generation study

Keke Zheng, Jingxiao Zhong, Jingrui Hu, Eve Nebbiolo, Juan Sanchez-Weatherby, Tengteng Tang, William J. Landis, Junning Chen, Peter Winlove, Benjamin E. Sherlock*, James Bell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

The process of mineralization fundamentally alters collagenous tissue biomechanics. While the structure and organization of mineral particles have been widely studied, the impact of mineralization on collagen matrix structure, particularly at the molecular scale, requires further investigation. In this study, synchrotron X-ray scattering (XRD) and polarization-resolved second harmonic generation microscopy (pSHG) were used to study normally mineralizing turkey leg tendon in tissue zones representing different stages of mineralization. XRD data demonstrated statistically significant differences in collagen D-period, intermolecular spacing, fibril and molecular dispersion and relative supramolecular twists between non-mineralizing, early mineralizing and late mineralizing zones. pSHG analysis of the same tendon zones showed the degree of collagen fibril organization was significantly greater in early and late mineralizing zones compared to non-mineralizing zones. The combination of XRD and pSHG data provide new insights into hierarchical collagen–mineral interactions, notably concerning possible cleavage of intra- or interfibrillar bonds, occlusion and reorganization of collagen by mineral with time. The complementary application of XRD and fast, label-free and non-destructive pSHG optical measurements presents a pathway for future investigations into the dynamics of molecular scale changes in collagen in the presence of increasing mineral deposition.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20230046
JournalInterface Focus
Volume14
Issue number3
Early online date7 Jun 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2024

Keywords

  • mineralization
  • collagen
  • X-ray diffraction
  • second harmonic generation
  • nonlinear microscopy
  • polarization resolved

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