Mechano-chemistry of human femoral diaphysis revealed by correlative Brillouin-Raman microspectroscopy

M A Cardinali, Marco Govoni, Dante Dallari, S Caponi, D Fioretto, A Morresi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brillouin-Raman microspectroscopy is presented as an innovative label-free all-optical investigation approachable to characterize the chemical composition and the mechanical properties of human tissues at micrometric resolution. Brillouin maps unveil mechanical heterogeneities in a human femoral diaphysis, showing a ubiquitous co-existence of hard and soft components, even in the most compact sections. The novel correlative analysis of Brillouin and Raman maps shows that the relative intensity of Brillouin peaks is a good proxy for the fraction of mineralized fibers and that the stiffness (longitudinal elastic modulus) of the hard component is linearly dependent on the hydroxyapatite concentration. For the soft component, a gradient of composition is found, ranging from an abundance of proteins in the more compact, external, bone to abundance of lipids, carotenoids, and heme groups approaching the trabecular, inner, part of the diaphysis. This work unveils the strong potential of correlative mechano-chemical characterization of human tissues at a micrometric resolution for both fundamental and translational research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSci. Rep.
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2020


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