D20 - High-intensity two-axis diffractometer with variable resolution

Bone strengths

Our bones are composed of aggregation of collagen and hydroxyapatite crystals aggregates Ca10(PO4)6(OH2). They are a living material with some amazing features; if damaged, they self-restore heal and react to external stress by orienting their the needle of apatite micro-crystals microcrystals in a direction parallel to that of the stress.

This gives rise to numerous questions. How do our bones react to ageing and life conditions of life?
How do highly stressed bones as strained such as heel bones or the jaws resist to efforts?
Are the properties of the calluses formed after a fracture the same as those of the initial bone?
How to accelerate restoration? Can fracture healing be accelerated?

These questions can be adressed through neutron diffraction experiments on D20 as shown here with a sheep bone study.


  • Benmarouane A. , Hansen T. , Millet P. , Lodini A. - Texture measurements of hydroxyapatite crystallites at bone-implant interfaces in sheep tibia, Solid State Phenomena 105, 427-432 (2005)
  • Benmarouane A. , Hansen T. , Millet P. , Lodini A., Materials Science Forum 539-543, 612-616 (2007)