Staining intensity of individual osteons correlated with elastic properties and degrees of mineralization

Ling Qin, Leungkim Hung, Kwoksui Leung, Xia Guo, Sauwanan Bumrerraj, Lawrence Katz

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Surface staining is widely used for histological studies involving undecalcified thick bone sections. Individual osteons, particularly newly formed ones stained with toluidine blue (TB), show various color intensities. We studied the correlations between TB color intensity and the differences in stiffness and degree of mineralization of individual osteons in undecalcified histological sections of goat tibial diaphysis, measured by scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM) and contact microradiography (CMR), respectively. Results showed that all three measurements correlated significantly with each other (r = 0.567 - 0.786; all P ≤ 0.01). The TB surface staining intensity of individual osteons correlated better with the reflection coefficient (stiffness index) measured by SAM (r = 0.713) than with the aluminum step-wedge equivalent thickness measured on CMR micrographs (r = 0.567). The aluminum step-wedge equivalent thickness of individual osteons on CMR correlated slightly better with the SAM reflection coefficient (r = 0.786) than with the TB surface staining intensity (r = 0.713) The results of this study suggest that TB surface staining may be used as a simple method for indicating differences in stiffness and degree of mineralization in individual osteons in comparative histological studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-364
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2001


  • Contact microradiography
  • Goat
  • Mineralization
  • Osteons
  • Scanning acoustic microscopy
  • Surface staining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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