Faculty Advisor

Gabriela B. González Avilés, PhD


Just like how rings correspond to the growth record of trees, some mineralized tissues of mammals contain temporal sequences of tissue development [Klevezal, 1996]. Shark vertebrae consist of cartilage mineralized with hydroxyapatite (HA). A recent study of vertebrae of seven shark species found that this tissue material stiffness and strength are similar to those of mammalian trabecular bone [Porter, 2006]. The periodic array of atoms in the HA nanocrystals in shark vertebrae produce peaks of diffracted intensity. The present project studied thousands of x-ray diffraction patterns of shark vertebrae collected at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory. The only crystalline phase found was HA, and HA lattice parameters varied periodically in a spatial pattern consistent with growth bands observed optically.

Included in

Physics Commons