Calcium buffering is required to maintain bone stiffness in saline solution

M. B. Gustafson, R. Bruce Martin, V. Gibson, D. H. Storms, Susan M Stover, J. Gibeling, L. Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


This work determined whether mineral dissolution due to prolonged testing or storage of bone specimens in normal saline would alter their elastic modulus. In one experiment, small pieces of equine third metacarpal bone were soaked in normal saline supplemented with varying amounts of CaCl2. Changing Ca ion concentrations in the bath were monitored and the equilibrium concentration was determined. In a second experiment, the elastic moduli of twenty 4 x 10 x 100 mm equine third metacarpal beams were determined non-destructively in four-point bending. Half the beams were then soaked for 10 days in normal saline, and the other half in saline buffered to the bone mineral equilibrium point with Ca ions. Modulus measurements were repeated at 6 and 10 days. The equilibrium Ca ion concentration for bone specimens was found to be 57.5 mg l-1 The modulus of bone specimens soaked in normal saline significantly diminished 2.4%, whereas the modulus of those soaked in calcium-buffered saline did not change significantly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1191-1194
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1996


  • Bone
  • Elastic modulus
  • Mineral dissolution
  • Saline bath

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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