Vibrational spectroscopy in biomedical science: Bone

Sonia Gamsiäger, R. Zoehrer, P. Roschger, P. Fratzl, K. Klaushofer, R. Mendelsohn, E. P. Paschalis

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Fourier transform infrared imaging (FTIR) and Raman Microspectroscopy are powerful tools for characterizing the distribution of different chemical moieties in heterogeneous materials. FTIR and Raman measurements have been adapted to assess the maturity of the mineral and the quality of the organic component (collagen and non-collagenous proteins) of the mineralized tissue in bone. Unique to the FTIRI analysis is the capability to provide the spatial distribution of two of the major collagen cross-links (pyridinoline, and dehydro-dihydroxylysinonorleucine) and through the study of normal and diseased bone, relate them to bone strength. These FTIR parameters have been validated based on analysis of model compounds. It is widely accepted that bone strength is determined by bone mass and bone quality. The latter is a multifactorial term encompassing the material and structural properties of bone, and one important aspect of the bone material properties is the organic matrix. The bone material properties can be defined by parameters of mineral and collagen, as determined by FTIR and Raman analysis. Considerably less attention has been directed at collagen, although there are several publications in the literature reporting altered collagen properties associated with fragile bone, in both animals and humans. Since bone is a heterogeneous tissue due to the remodeling process, microscopic areas may be carefully selected based on quantitative Backscattered Electron Imaging or histological staining, thus ensuring comparison of areas with similar metabolic activity and mineral content. In conclusion, FTIRI and Raman vibrational spectroscopy are proving to be powerful tools in bone-related medical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number716602
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - 2009
EventOptics in Bone Biology and Diagnostics - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 24 2009Jan 24 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


  • Bone quality
  • Bone strength
  • Collagen cross-links
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Imaging
  • Mineral maturity/crystallinity
  • Raman spectroscopy


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