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A bone is a rigid organ that constitutes part of the
skeleton A skeleton is the structural frame that supports the body of an animal. There are several types of skeletons, including the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside ...
in most vertebrate animals. Bones protect the various other organs of the body, produce
red Red is the color at the long wavelength end of the visible spectrum of light, next to orange and opposite violet. It has a dominant wavelength of approximately 625–740 nanometres. It is a primary color in the RGB color model and a secondary ...
and white blood cells, store minerals, provide structure and support for the body, and enable
mobility Mobility may refer to: Social sciences and humanities * Economic mobility, ability of individuals or families to improve their economic status * Geographic mobility, the measure of how populations and goods move over time * Mobilities, a conte ...
. Bones come in a variety of shapes and sizes and have complex internal and external structures. They are lightweight yet strong and hard and serve multiple functions. Bone tissue (osseous tissue), which is also called bone in the uncountable sense of that word, is hard tissue, a type of specialized connective tissue. It has a honeycomb-like matrix internally, which helps to give the bone rigidity. Bone tissue is made up of different types of
bone cell An osteocyte, an oblate shaped type of bone cell with dendritic processes, is the most commonly found cell in mature bone. It can live as long as the organism itself. The adult human body has about 42 billion of them. Osteocytes do not divide and ...
s.
Osteoblast Osteoblasts (from the Greek combining forms for "bone", ὀστέο-, ''osteo-'' and βλαστάνω, ''blastanō'' "germinate") are cells with a single nucleus that synthesize bone. However, in the process of bone formation, osteoblasts functio ...
s and
osteocyte An osteocyte, an oblate shaped type of bone cell with dendritic processes, is the most commonly found cell in mature bone. It can live as long as the organism itself. The adult human body has about 42 billion of them. Osteocytes do not divide and ...
s are involved in the formation and
mineralization Mineralization may refer to: * Mineralization (biology), when an inorganic substance precipitates in an organic matrix ** Biomineralization, a form of mineralization ** Mineralization of bone, an example of mineralization ** Mineralized tissues ar ...
of bone;
osteoclast An osteoclast () is a type of bone cell that breaks down bone tissue. This function is critical in the maintenance, repair, and remodeling of bones of the vertebral skeleton. The osteoclast disassembles and digests the composite of hydrated pr ...
s are involved in the
resorption Resorption is the absorption of cells or tissue into the circulatory system, usually by osteoclasts. Types of resorption include: * Bone resorption * Herniated Disc Resorption * Tooth resorption * Fetal resorption Fetal resorption (also known as ...
of bone tissue. Modified (flattened) osteoblasts become the lining cells that form a protective layer on the bone surface. The mineralized matrix of bone tissue has an organic component of mainly collagen called '' ossein'' and an inorganic component of
bone mineral Bone mineral (also called inorganic bone phase, bone salt, or bone apatite) is the inorganic component of bone tissue. It gives bones their compressive strength. Bone mineral is formed predominantly from carbonated hydroxyapatite with lower cryst ...
made up of various salts. Bone tissue is
mineralized tissue Mineralized tissues are biological tissues that incorporate minerals into soft matrices. Typically these tissues form a protective shield or structural support. Bone, mollusc shells, deep sea sponge ''Euplectella'' species, radiolarians, diatom ...
of two types, cortical bone and cancellous bone. Other types of tissue found in bones include bone marrow, endosteum,
periosteum The periosteum is a membrane that covers the outer surface of all bones, except at the articular surfaces (i.e. the parts within a joint space) of long bones. Endosteum lines the inner surface of the medullary cavity of all long bones. Structu ...
, nerves, blood vessels and
cartilage Cartilage is a resilient and smooth type of connective tissue. In tetrapods, it covers and protects the ends of long bones at the joints as articular cartilage, and is a structural component of many body parts including the rib cage, the neck an ...
. In the
human body The human body is the structure of a human being. It is composed of many different types of cells that together create tissues and subsequently organ systems. They ensure homeostasis and the viability of the human body. It comprises a head ...
at birth, there are approximately 300 bones present; many of these fuse together during development, leaving a total of 206 separate bones in the adult, not counting numerous small
sesamoid bone In anatomy, a sesamoid bone () is a bone embedded within a tendon or a muscle. Its name is derived from the Arabic word for ' sesame seed', indicating the small size of most sesamoids. Often, these bones form in response to strain, or can be pres ...
s. The largest bone in the body is the femur or thigh-bone, and the smallest is the stapes in the
middle ear The middle ear is the portion of the ear medial to the eardrum, and distal to the oval window of the cochlea (of the inner ear). The mammalian middle ear contains three ossicles, which transfer the vibrations of the eardrum into waves in the ...
. The Greek word for bone is ὀστέον ("osteon"), hence the many terms that use it as a prefix—such as
osteopathy Osteopathy () is a type of alternative medicine that emphasizes physical manipulation of the body's muscle tissue and bones. Practitioners of osteopathy are referred to as osteopaths. Osteopathic manipulation is the core set of techniques in ...
. In
anatomical terminology Anatomical terminology is a form of scientific terminology used by anatomists, zoologists, and health professionals such as doctors. Anatomical terminology uses many unique terms, suffixes, and prefixes deriving from Ancient Greek and Latin ...
, including the Terminologia Anatomica international standard, the word for a bone is '' os'' (for example, os breve, os longum, os sesamoideum).


Structure

Bone is not uniformly solid, but consists of a flexible matrix (about 30%) and bound minerals (about 70%) which are intricately woven and endlessly remodeled by a group of specialized bone cells. Their unique composition and design allows bones to be relatively hard and strong, while remaining lightweight. Bone matrix is 90 to 95% composed of elastic collagen fibers, also known as ossein, and the remainder is ground substance. The elasticity of collagen improves fracture resistance. The matrix is hardened by the binding of inorganic mineral salt,
calcium phosphate The term calcium phosphate refers to a family of materials and minerals containing calcium ions (Ca2+) together with inorganic phosphate anions. Some so-called calcium phosphates contain oxide and hydroxide as well. Calcium phosphates are white ...
, in a chemical arrangement known as
bone mineral Bone mineral (also called inorganic bone phase, bone salt, or bone apatite) is the inorganic component of bone tissue. It gives bones their compressive strength. Bone mineral is formed predominantly from carbonated hydroxyapatite with lower cryst ...
, a form of calcium hydroxylapatite. It is the mineralization that gives bones rigidity. Bone is actively constructed and remodeled throughout life by special bone cells known as osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Within any single bone, the tissue is woven into two main patterns, known as cortical and cancellous bone, each with a different appearance and characteristics.


Cortex

The hard outer layer of bones is composed of cortical bone, which is also called compact bone as it is much denser than cancellous bone. It forms the hard exterior (cortex) of bones. The cortical bone gives bone its smooth, white, and solid appearance, and accounts for 80% of the total bone mass of an adult human
skeleton A skeleton is the structural frame that supports the body of an animal. There are several types of skeletons, including the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside ...
. It facilitates bone's main functions—to support the whole body, to protect organs, to provide
lever A lever is a simple machine consisting of a beam or rigid rod pivoted at a fixed hinge, or '' fulcrum''. A lever is a rigid body capable of rotating on a point on itself. On the basis of the locations of fulcrum, load and effort, the lever is ...
s for movement, and to store and release chemical elements, mainly calcium. It consists of multiple microscopic columns, each called an osteon or Haversian system. Each column is multiple layers of
osteoblast Osteoblasts (from the Greek combining forms for "bone", ὀστέο-, ''osteo-'' and βλαστάνω, ''blastanō'' "germinate") are cells with a single nucleus that synthesize bone. However, in the process of bone formation, osteoblasts functio ...
s and
osteocyte An osteocyte, an oblate shaped type of bone cell with dendritic processes, is the most commonly found cell in mature bone. It can live as long as the organism itself. The adult human body has about 42 billion of them. Osteocytes do not divide and ...
s around a central canal called the
haversian canal Haversian canals (sometimes canals of Havers) are a series of microscopic tubes in the outermost region of bone called cortical bone. They allow blood vessels and nerves to travel through them to supply the osteocytes. Structure Each Haversia ...
.
Volkmann's canal Volkmann's canals, also known as perforating holes or channels, are anatomic arrangements in cortical bones. Volkmann's canals are inside osteons. They interconnect the haversian canals with each other and the periosteum The periosteum is a me ...
s at right angles connect the osteons together. The columns are metabolically active, and as bone is reabsorbed and created the nature and location of the cells within the osteon will change. Cortical bone is covered by a
periosteum The periosteum is a membrane that covers the outer surface of all bones, except at the articular surfaces (i.e. the parts within a joint space) of long bones. Endosteum lines the inner surface of the medullary cavity of all long bones. Structu ...
on its outer surface, and an endosteum on its inner surface. The endosteum is the boundary between the cortical bone and the cancellous bone. The primary anatomical and functional unit of cortical bone is the osteon.


Trabecules

Cancellous bone, also called trabecular or spongy bone, is the internal tissue of the skeletal bone and is an open cell
porous Porosity or void fraction is a measure of the void (i.e. "empty") spaces in a material, and is a fraction of the volume of voids over the total volume, between 0 and 1, or as a percentage between 0% and 100%. Strictly speaking, some tests measure ...
network that follows the material properties of
biofoams Biofoams are biological or biologically derived foams, making up lightweight and porous cellular solids. A relatively new term, its use in academia began in the 1980s in relation to the scum that formed on activated sludge plants. Biofoams is a br ...
. Cancellous bone has a higher surface-area-to-volume ratio than cortical bone and it is less
dense Density (volumetric mass density or specific mass) is the substance's mass per unit of volume. The symbol most often used for density is ''ρ'' (the lower case Greek letter rho), although the Latin letter ''D'' can also be used. Mathematicall ...
. This makes it weaker and more flexible. The greater surface area also makes it suitable for metabolic activities such as the exchange of calcium ions. Cancellous bone is typically found at the ends of long bones, near joints, and in the interior of vertebrae. Cancellous bone is highly vascular and often contains red bone marrow where
hematopoiesis Haematopoiesis (, from Greek , 'blood' and 'to make'; also hematopoiesis in American English; sometimes also h(a)emopoiesis) is the formation of blood cellular components. All cellular blood components are derived from haematopoietic stem cells ...
, the production of blood cells, occurs. The primary anatomical and functional unit of cancellous bone is the trabecula. The trabeculae are aligned towards the mechanical load distribution that a bone experiences within long bones such as the femur. As far as short bones are concerned, trabecular alignment has been studied in the
vertebral The vertebral column, also known as the backbone or spine, is part of the axial skeleton. The vertebral column is the defining characteristic of a vertebrate in which the notochord (a flexible rod of uniform composition) found in all chordates ...
pedicle Pedicle or pedicel may refer to: Human anatomy *Pedicle of vertebral arch, the segment between the transverse process and the vertebral body, and is often used as a radiographic marker and entry point in vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty procedures ...
. Thin formations of
osteoblast Osteoblasts (from the Greek combining forms for "bone", ὀστέο-, ''osteo-'' and βλαστάνω, ''blastanō'' "germinate") are cells with a single nucleus that synthesize bone. However, in the process of bone formation, osteoblasts functio ...
s covered in endosteum create an irregular network of spaces, known as trabeculae. Within these spaces are bone marrow and hematopoietic stem cells that give rise to platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells. Trabecular marrow is composed of a network of rod- and plate-like elements that make the overall organ lighter and allow room for blood vessels and marrow. Trabecular bone accounts for the remaining 20% of total bone mass but has nearly ten times the surface area of compact bone. The words ''cancellous'' and ''trabecular'' refer to the tiny lattice-shaped units (trabeculae) that form the tissue. It was first illustrated accurately in the engravings of
Crisóstomo Martinez Crisóstomo Martínez (1638–1694) was a Spanish painter, engraver, anatomist and microscopist from Valencia, known for his atlas of anatomy. His work has been ascribed to the Spanish intellectual movement called "''Novator''" which refers to th ...
.


Marrow

Bone marrow, also known as
myeloid tissue Myeloid tissue, in the bone marrow sense of the word ''myeloid'' ('' myelo-'' + '' -oid''), is tissue of bone marrow, of bone marrow cell lineage, or resembling bone marrow, and myelogenous tissue (''myelo-'' + '' -genous'') is any tissue of ...
in red bone marrow, can be found in almost any bone that holds
cancellous tissue A bone is a rigid organ that constitutes part of the skeleton in most vertebrate animals. Bones protect the various other organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells, store minerals, provide structure and support for the body, and ...
. In
newborns An infant or baby is the very young offspring of human beings. ''Infant'' (from the Latin word ''infans'', meaning 'unable to speak' or 'speechless') is a formal or specialised synonym for the common term ''baby''. The terms may also be used t ...
, all such bones are filled exclusively with red marrow or
hematopoietic Haematopoiesis (, from Greek , 'blood' and 'to make'; also hematopoiesis in American English; sometimes also h(a)emopoiesis) is the formation of blood cellular components. All cellular blood components are derived from haematopoietic stem cells ...
marrow, but as the child ages the hematopoietic fraction decreases in quantity and the fatty/ yellow fraction called
marrow adipose tissue Bone marrow adipose tissue (BMAT), sometimes referred to as marrow adipose tissue (MAT), is a type of fat deposit in bone marrow. It increases in states of low bone density -osteoporosis, anorexia nervosa/ caloric restriction, skeletal unweight ...
(MAT) increases in quantity. In adults, red marrow is mostly found in the bone marrow of the femur, the ribs, the vertebrae and
pelvic bones The hip bone (os coxae, innominate bone, pelvic bone or coxal bone) is a large flat bone, constricted in the center and expanded above and below. In some vertebrates (including humans before puberty) it is composed of three parts: the ilium, ischi ...
.


Vascular supply

Bone receives about 10% of cardiac output. Blood enters the endosteum, flows through the marrow, and exits through small vessels in the cortex. In humans, blood oxygen tension in bone marrow is about 6.6%, compared to about 12% in arterial blood, and 5% in venous and capillary blood.


Cells

Bone is metabolically active tissue composed of several types of cells. These cells include
osteoblast Osteoblasts (from the Greek combining forms for "bone", ὀστέο-, ''osteo-'' and βλαστάνω, ''blastanō'' "germinate") are cells with a single nucleus that synthesize bone. However, in the process of bone formation, osteoblasts functio ...
s, which are involved in the creation and
mineralization Mineralization may refer to: * Mineralization (biology), when an inorganic substance precipitates in an organic matrix ** Biomineralization, a form of mineralization ** Mineralization of bone, an example of mineralization ** Mineralized tissues ar ...
of bone tissue,
osteocyte An osteocyte, an oblate shaped type of bone cell with dendritic processes, is the most commonly found cell in mature bone. It can live as long as the organism itself. The adult human body has about 42 billion of them. Osteocytes do not divide and ...
s, and
osteoclast An osteoclast () is a type of bone cell that breaks down bone tissue. This function is critical in the maintenance, repair, and remodeling of bones of the vertebral skeleton. The osteoclast disassembles and digests the composite of hydrated pr ...
s, which are involved in the reabsorption of bone tissue. Osteoblasts and osteocytes are derived from
osteoprogenitor Osteoblasts (from the Greek combining forms for "bone", ὀστέο-, ''osteo-'' and βλαστάνω, ''blastanō'' "germinate") are cells with a single nucleus that synthesize bone. However, in the process of bone formation, osteoblasts function ...
cells, but
osteoclast An osteoclast () is a type of bone cell that breaks down bone tissue. This function is critical in the maintenance, repair, and remodeling of bones of the vertebral skeleton. The osteoclast disassembles and digests the composite of hydrated pr ...
s are derived from the same cells that differentiate to form macrophages and monocytes. Within the marrow of the bone there are also hematopoietic stem cells. These cells give rise to other cells, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.


Osteoblast

Osteoblast Osteoblasts (from the Greek combining forms for "bone", ὀστέο-, ''osteo-'' and βλαστάνω, ''blastanō'' "germinate") are cells with a single nucleus that synthesize bone. However, in the process of bone formation, osteoblasts functio ...
s are mononucleate bone-forming cells. They are located on the surface of osteon seams and make a protein mixture known as
osteoid In histology, osteoid is the unmineralized, organic portion of the bone matrix that forms prior to the maturation of bone tissue. Osteoblasts begin the process of forming bone tissue by secreting the osteoid as several specific proteins. When ...
, which mineralizes to become bone. The osteoid seam is a narrow region of a newly formed organic matrix, not yet mineralized, located on the surface of a bone. Osteoid is primarily composed of Type I collagen. Osteoblasts also manufacture hormones, such as
prostaglandin The prostaglandins (PG) are a group of physiologically active lipid compounds called eicosanoids having diverse hormone-like effects in animals. Prostaglandins have been found in almost every tissue in humans and other animals. They are deri ...
s, to act on the bone itself. The osteoblast creates and repairs new bone by actually building around itself. First, the osteoblast puts up collagen fibers. These collagen fibers are used as a framework for the osteoblasts' work. The osteoblast then deposits calcium phosphate which is hardened by
hydroxide Hydroxide is a diatomic anion with chemical formula OH−. It consists of an oxygen and hydrogen atom held together by a single covalent bond, and carries a negative electric charge. It is an important but usually minor constituent of water. It ...
and
bicarbonate In inorganic chemistry, bicarbonate (IUPAC-recommended nomenclature: hydrogencarbonate) is an intermediate form in the deprotonation of carbonic acid. It is a polyatomic anion with the chemical formula . Bicarbonate serves a crucial biochemic ...
ions. The brand-new bone created by the osteoblast is called
osteoid In histology, osteoid is the unmineralized, organic portion of the bone matrix that forms prior to the maturation of bone tissue. Osteoblasts begin the process of forming bone tissue by secreting the osteoid as several specific proteins. When ...
. Once the osteoblast is finished working it is actually trapped inside the bone once it hardens. When the osteoblast becomes trapped, it becomes known as an osteocyte. Other osteoblasts remain on the top of the new bone and are used to protect the underlying bone, these become known as lining cells.


Osteocyte

Osteocyte An osteocyte, an oblate shaped type of bone cell with dendritic processes, is the most commonly found cell in mature bone. It can live as long as the organism itself. The adult human body has about 42 billion of them. Osteocytes do not divide and ...
s are cells of mesenchymal origin and originate from osteoblasts that have migrated into and become trapped and surrounded by a bone matrix that they themselves produced. The spaces the cell body of osteocytes occupy within the mineralized collagen type I matrix are known as lacunae, while the osteocyte cell processes occupy channels called canaliculi. The many processes of osteocytes reach out to meet osteoblasts, osteoclasts, bone lining cells, and other osteocytes probably for the purposes of communication. Osteocytes remain in contact with other osteocytes in the bone through gap junctions—coupled cell processes which pass through the canalicular channels.


Osteoclast

Osteoclast An osteoclast () is a type of bone cell that breaks down bone tissue. This function is critical in the maintenance, repair, and remodeling of bones of the vertebral skeleton. The osteoclast disassembles and digests the composite of hydrated pr ...
s are very large multinucleate cells that are responsible for the breakdown of bones by the process of
bone resorption Bone resorption is resorption of bone tissue, that is, the process by which osteoclasts break down the tissue in bones and release the minerals, resulting in a transfer of calcium from bone tissue to the blood. The osteoclasts are multi-nucle ...
. New bone is then formed by the osteoblasts. Bone is constantly remodeled by the resorption of osteoclasts and created by osteoblasts. Osteoclasts are large cells with multiple nuclei located on bone surfaces in what are called ''Howship's lacunae'' (or ''resorption pits''). These lacunae are the result of surrounding bone tissue that has been reabsorbed. Because the osteoclasts are derived from a monocyte
stem-cell In multicellular organisms, stem cells are undifferentiated or partially differentiated cells that can differentiate into various types of cells and proliferate indefinitely to produce more of the same stem cell. They are the earliest type of ...
lineage, they are equipped with phagocytic-like mechanisms similar to circulating macrophages. Osteoclasts mature and/or migrate to discrete bone surfaces. Upon arrival, active enzymes, such as
tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP or TRAPase), also called acid phosphatase 5, tartrate resistant (ACP5), is a glycosylated monomeric metalloprotein enzyme expressed in mammals. It has a molecular weight of approximately 35kDa, a basic iso ...
, are secreted against the mineral substrate. The reabsorption of bone by osteoclasts also plays a role in
calcium Calcium is a chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. As an alkaline earth metal, calcium is a reactive metal that forms a dark oxide-nitride layer when exposed to air. Its physical and chemical properties are most similar ...
homeostasis In biology, homeostasis (British also homoeostasis) (/hɒmɪə(ʊ)ˈsteɪsɪs/) is the state of steady internal, physical, and chemical conditions maintained by living systems. This is the condition of optimal functioning for the organism and i ...
.


Composition

Bones consist of living cells (osteoblasts and osteocytes) embedded in a mineralized organic matrix. The primary inorganic component of human bone is hydroxyapatite, the dominant
bone mineral Bone mineral (also called inorganic bone phase, bone salt, or bone apatite) is the inorganic component of bone tissue. It gives bones their compressive strength. Bone mineral is formed predominantly from carbonated hydroxyapatite with lower cryst ...
, having the nominal composition of Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2. The organic components of this matrix consist mainly of type I collagen—"organic" referring to materials produced as a result of the human body—and inorganic components, which alongside the dominant hydroxyapatite phase, include other compounds of
calcium Calcium is a chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. As an alkaline earth metal, calcium is a reactive metal that forms a dark oxide-nitride layer when exposed to air. Its physical and chemical properties are most similar ...
and phosphate including salts. Approximately 30% of the acellular component of bone consists of organic matter, while roughly 70% by mass is attributed to the inorganic phase. The collagen fibers give bone its tensile strength, and the interspersed crystals of hydroxyapatite give bone its
compressive strength In mechanics, compressive strength or compression strength is the capacity of a material or structure to withstand loads tending to reduce size (as opposed to tensile strength which withstands loads tending to elongate). In other words, compre ...
. These effects are
synergistic Synergy is an interaction or cooperation giving rise to a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. The term ''synergy'' comes from the Attic Greek word συνεργία ' from ', , meaning "working together". History In Christia ...
. The exact composition of the matrix may be subject to change over time due to nutrition and
biomineralization Biomineralization, also written biomineralisation, is the process by which living organisms produce minerals, often to harden or stiffen existing tissues. Such tissues are called mineralized tissues. It is an extremely widespread phenomenon; ...
, with the ratio of
calcium Calcium is a chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. As an alkaline earth metal, calcium is a reactive metal that forms a dark oxide-nitride layer when exposed to air. Its physical and chemical properties are most similar ...
to phosphate varying between 1.3 and 2.0 (per weight), and trace minerals such as magnesium, sodium, potassium and
carbonate A carbonate is a salt of carbonic acid (H2CO3), characterized by the presence of the carbonate ion, a polyatomic ion with the formula . The word ''carbonate'' may also refer to a carbonate ester, an organic compound containing the carbonate g ...
also be found. Type I collagen composes 90–95% of the organic matrix, with the remainder of the matrix being a homogenous liquid called ground substance consisting of
proteoglycan Proteoglycans are proteins that are heavily glycosylated. The basic proteoglycan unit consists of a "core protein" with one or more covalently attached glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chain(s). The point of attachment is a serine (Ser) residue to whi ...
s such as
hyaluronic acid Hyaluronic acid (; abbreviated HA; conjugate base hyaluronate), also called hyaluronan, is an anionic, nonsulfated glycosaminoglycan distributed widely throughout connective, epithelial, and neural tissues. It is unique among glycosaminoglycan ...
and
chondroitin sulfate Chondroitin sulfate is a sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) composed of a chain of alternating sugars ( N-acetylgalactosamine and glucuronic acid). It is usually found attached to proteins as part of a proteoglycan. A chondroitin chain can have over ...
, as well as non-collagenous proteins such as
osteocalcin Osteocalcin, also known as bone gamma-carboxyglutamic acid-containing protein (BGLAP), is a small (49-amino-acid) noncollagenous protein hormone found in bone and dentin, first identified as a calcium-binding protein. Because osteocalcin has g ...
,
osteopontin Osteopontin (OPN), also known as bone /sialoprotein I (BSP-1 or BNSP), early T-lymphocyte activation (ETA-1), secreted phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1), 2ar and Rickettsia resistance (Ric), is a protein that in humans is encoded by the ''SPP1'' gene (secr ...
or bone sialoprotein. Collagen consists of strands of repeating units, which give bone tensile strength, and are arranged in an overlapping fashion that prevents shear stress. The function of ground substance is not fully known. Two types of bone can be identified microscopically according to the arrangement of collagen: woven and lamellar. * Woven bone (also known as ''fibrous bone''), which is characterized by a haphazard organization of collagen fibers and is mechanically weak.Currey, John D. (2002)
"The Structure of Bone Tissue"
pp. 12–14 in ''Bones: Structure and Mechanics''. Princeton University Press. Princeton, NJ.
* Lamellar bone, which has a regular parallel alignment of collagen into sheets ("lamellae") and is mechanically strong. Woven bone is produced when osteoblasts produce osteoid rapidly, which occurs initially in all fetal bones, but is later replaced by more resilient lamellar bone. In adults, woven bone is created after fractures or in Paget's disease. Woven bone is weaker, with a smaller number of randomly oriented collagen fibers, but forms quickly; it is for this appearance of the fibrous matrix that the bone is termed ''woven''. It is soon replaced by lamellar bone, which is highly organized in
concentric In geometry, two or more objects are said to be concentric, coaxal, or coaxial when they share the same center or axis. Circles, regular polygons and regular polyhedra, and spheres may be concentric to one another (sharing the same center poin ...
sheets with a much lower proportion of osteocytes to surrounding tissue. Lamellar bone, which makes its first appearance in humans in the fetus during the third trimester,Salentijn, L. ''Biology of Mineralized Tissues: Cartilage and Bone'',
Columbia University College of Dental Medicine The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, often abbreviated CDM, is one of the twenty graduate and professional schools of Columbia University. It is located at 630 West 168th Street in Manhattan, New York City. According to American ...
post-graduate dental lecture series, 2007
is stronger and filled with many collagen fibers parallel to other fibers in the same layer (these parallel columns are called osteons). In
cross-section Cross section may refer to: * Cross section (geometry) ** Cross-sectional views in architecture & engineering 3D *Cross section (geology) * Cross section (electronics) * Radar cross section, measure of detectability * Cross section (physics) **Abs ...
, the fibers run in opposite directions in alternating layers, much like in plywood, assisting in the bone's ability to resist
torsion Torsion may refer to: Science * Torsion (mechanics), the twisting of an object due to an applied torque * Torsion of spacetime, the field used in Einstein–Cartan theory and ** Alternatives to general relativity * Torsion angle, in chemistry Bi ...
forces. After a fracture, woven bone forms initially and is gradually replaced by lamellar bone during a process known as "bony substitution." Compared to woven bone, lamellar bone formation takes place more slowly. The orderly deposition of collagen fibers restricts the formation of osteoid to about 1 to 2 
µm The micrometre ( international spelling as used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures; SI symbol: μm) or micrometer ( American spelling), also commonly known as a micron, is a unit of length in the International System of Uni ...
per day. Lamellar bone also requires a relatively flat surface to lay the collagen fibers in parallel or concentric layers.


Deposition

The extracellular matrix of bone is laid down by
osteoblast Osteoblasts (from the Greek combining forms for "bone", ὀστέο-, ''osteo-'' and βλαστάνω, ''blastanō'' "germinate") are cells with a single nucleus that synthesize bone. However, in the process of bone formation, osteoblasts functio ...
s, which secrete both collagen and ground substance. These synthesise collagen within the cell and then secrete collagen fibrils. The collagen fibers rapidly polymerise to form collagen strands. At this stage, they are not yet mineralised, and are called "osteoid". Around the strands calcium and phosphate precipitate on the surface of these strands, within days to weeks becoming crystals of hydroxyapatite. In order to mineralise the bone, the osteoblasts secrete
vesicles Vesicle may refer to: ; In cellular biology or chemistry * Vesicle (biology and chemistry), a supramolecular assembly of lipid molecules, like a cell membrane * Synaptic vesicle ; In human embryology * Vesicle (embryology), bulge-like features o ...
containing
alkaline phosphatase The enzyme alkaline phosphatase (EC 3.1.3.1, alkaline phosphomonoesterase; phosphomonoesterase; glycerophosphatase; alkaline phosphohydrolase; alkaline phenyl phosphatase; orthophosphoric-monoester phosphohydrolase (alkaline optimum), systematic ...
. This cleaves the phosphate groups and acts as the foci for calcium and phosphate deposition. The vesicles then rupture and act as a centre for crystals to grow on. More particularly, bone mineral is formed from globular and plate structures.


Types

There are five types of bones in the human body: long, short, flat, irregular, and sesamoid. * Long bones are characterized by a shaft, the diaphysis, that is much longer than its width; and by an epiphysis, a rounded head at each end of the shaft. They are made up mostly of
compact bone A bone is a rigid organ that constitutes part of the skeleton in most vertebrate animals. Bones protect the various other organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells, store minerals, provide structure and support for the body, and ...
, with lesser amounts of marrow, located within the
medullary cavity The medullary cavity (''medulla'', innermost part) is the central cavity of bone shafts where red bone marrow and/or yellow bone marrow (adipose tissue) is stored; hence, the medullary cavity is also known as the marrow cavity. Located in the ma ...
, and areas of spongy, cancellous bone at the ends of the bones. Most bones of the limbs, including those of the fingers and
toes Toes are the digits (fingers) of the foot of a tetrapod. Animal species such as cats that walk on their toes are described as being ''digitigrade''. Humans, and other animals that walk on the soles of their feet, are described as being ''plan ...
, are long bones. The exceptions are the eight
carpal bones The carpal bones are the eight small bones that make up the wrist (or carpus) that connects the hand to the forearm. The term "carpus" is derived from the Latin carpus and the Greek καρπός (karpós), meaning "wrist". In human anatomy, the ...
of the
wrist In human anatomy, the wrist is variously defined as (1) the carpus or carpal bones, the complex of eight bones forming the proximal skeletal segment of the hand; "The wrist contains eight bones, roughly aligned in two rows, known as the carpal ...
, the seven articulating
tarsal bone In the human body, the tarsus is a cluster of seven articulating bones in each foot situated between the lower end of the tibia and the fibula of the lower leg and the metatarsus. It is made up of the midfoot (cuboid, medial, intermediate, and la ...
s of the
ankle The ankle, or the talocrural region, or the jumping bone (informal) is the area where the foot and the leg meet. The ankle includes three joints: the ankle joint proper or talocrural joint, the subtalar joint, and the inferior tibiofibular joint ...
and the sesamoid bone of the
kneecap The patella, also known as the kneecap, is a flat, rounded triangular bone which articulates with the femur (thigh bone) and covers and protects the anterior articular surface of the knee joint. The patella is found in many tetrapods, such as m ...
. Long bones such as the clavicle, that have a differently shaped shaft or ends are also called ''modified long bones''. *
Short bone Short bones are designated as those bones that are as wide as they are long. Their primary function is to provide support and stability with little to no movement. They are one of five types of bones: short, long, flat, irregular and sesamoid ...
s are roughly cube-shaped, and have only a thin layer of compact bone surrounding a spongy interior. The bones of the wrist and ankle are short bones. * Flat bones are thin and generally curved, with two parallel layers of compact bone sandwiching a layer of spongy bone. Most of the bones of the skull are flat bones, as is the sternum. *
Sesamoid bone In anatomy, a sesamoid bone () is a bone embedded within a tendon or a muscle. Its name is derived from the Arabic word for ' sesame seed', indicating the small size of most sesamoids. Often, these bones form in response to strain, or can be pres ...
s are bones embedded in tendons. Since they act to hold the tendon further away from the joint, the angle of the tendon is increased and thus the leverage of the muscle is increased. Examples of sesamoid bones are the patella and the pisiform. * Irregular bones do not fit into the above categories. They consist of thin layers of compact bone surrounding a spongy interior. As implied by the name, their shapes are irregular and complicated. Often this irregular shape is due to their many centers of ossification or because they contain bony sinuses. The bones of the
spine Spine or spinal may refer to: Science Biology * Vertebral column, also known as the backbone * Dendritic spine, a small membranous protrusion from a neuron's dendrite * Thorns, spines, and prickles, needle-like structures in plants * Spine (zoolo ...
, pelvis, and some bones of the skull are irregular bones. Examples include the ethmoid and sphenoid bones.


Terminology

In the study of
anatomy Anatomy () is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science that deals with the structural organization of living things. It is an old science, having it ...
, anatomists use a number of anatomical terms to describe the appearance, shape and function of bones. Other anatomical terms are also used to describe the location of bones. Like other anatomical terms, many of these derive from Latin and Greek. Some anatomists still use Latin to refer to bones. The term "osseous", and the prefix "osteo-", referring to things related to bone, are still used commonly today. Some examples of terms used to describe bones include the term "foramen" to describe a hole through which something passes, and a "canal" or "meatus" to describe a tunnel-like structure. A protrusion from a bone can be called a number of terms, including a "condyle", "crest", "spine", "eminence", "tubercle" or "tuberosity", depending on the protrusion's shape and location. In general, long bones are said to have a "head", "neck", and "body". When two bones join, they are said to "articulate". If the two bones have a fibrous connection and are relatively immobile, then the joint is called a "suture".


Development

The formation of bone is called ossification. During the fetal stage of development this occurs by two processes:
intramembranous ossification Intramembranous ossification is one of the two essential processes during fetal development of the gnathostome (excluding chondrichthyans such as sharks) skeletal system by which rudimentary bone tissue is created. Intramembranous ossification i ...
and
endochondral ossification Endochondral ossification is one of the two essential processes during fetal development of the mammalian skeletal system by which bone tissue is produced. Unlike intramembranous ossification, the other process by which bone tissue is produced, c ...
. Intramembranous ossification involves the formation of bone from connective tissue whereas endochondral ossification involves the formation of bone from
cartilage Cartilage is a resilient and smooth type of connective tissue. In tetrapods, it covers and protects the ends of long bones at the joints as articular cartilage, and is a structural component of many body parts including the rib cage, the neck an ...
. Intramembranous ossification mainly occurs during formation of the flat bones of the skull but also the mandible, maxilla, and clavicles; the bone is formed from connective tissue such as
mesenchyme Mesenchyme () is a type of loosely organized animal embryonic connective tissue of undifferentiated cells that give rise to most tissues, such as skin, blood or bone. The interactions between mesenchyme and epithelium help to form nearly every ...
tissue rather than from cartilage. The process includes: the development of the
ossification center An ossification center is a point where ossification of the cartilage begins. The first step in ossification is that the cartilage cells at this point enlarge and arrange themselves in rows.Gray and Spitzka (1910), page 44. The matrix in which t ...
,
calcification Calcification is the accumulation of calcium salts in a body tissue. It normally occurs in the formation of bone, but calcium can be deposited abnormally in soft tissue,Miller, J. D. Cardiovascular calcification: Orbicular origins. ''Nature M ...
, trabeculae formation and the development of the periosteum. Endochondral ossification occurs in long bones and most other bones in the body; it involves the development of bone from cartilage. This process includes the development of a cartilage model, its growth and development, development of the primary and secondary
ossification center An ossification center is a point where ossification of the cartilage begins. The first step in ossification is that the cartilage cells at this point enlarge and arrange themselves in rows.Gray and Spitzka (1910), page 44. The matrix in which t ...
s, and the formation of articular cartilage and the epiphyseal plates. Endochondral ossification begins with points in the cartilage called "primary ossification centers." They mostly appear during fetal development, though a few short bones begin their primary ossification after
birth Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring, also referred to in technical contexts as parturition. In mammals, the process is initiated by hormones which cause the muscular walls of the uterus to contract, expelling the f ...
. They are responsible for the formation of the diaphyses of long bones, short bones and certain parts of irregular bones. Secondary ossification occurs after birth and forms the epiphyses of long bones and the extremities of irregular and flat bones. The diaphysis and both epiphyses of a long bone are separated by a growing zone of cartilage (the epiphyseal plate). At skeletal maturity (18 to 25 years of age), all of the cartilage is replaced by bone, fusing the diaphysis and both epiphyses together (epiphyseal closure). In the upper limbs, only the diaphyses of the long bones and scapula are ossified. The epiphyses, carpal bones, coracoid process, medial border of the scapula, and acromion are still cartilaginous. The following steps are followed in the conversion of cartilage to bone: # Zone of reserve cartilage. This region, farthest from the marrow cavity, consists of typical hyaline cartilage that as yet shows no sign of transforming into bone. # Zone of cell proliferation. A little closer to the marrow cavity, chondrocytes multiply and arrange themselves into longitudinal columns of flattened lacunae. # Zone of cell hypertrophy. Next, the chondrocytes cease to divide and begin to hypertrophy (enlarge), much like they do in the primary ossification center of the fetus. The walls of the matrix between lacunae become very thin. # Zone of calcification. Minerals are deposited in the matrix between the columns of lacunae and calcify the cartilage. These are not the permanent mineral deposits of bone, but only a temporary support for the cartilage that would otherwise soon be weakened by the breakdown of the enlarged lacunae. # Zone of bone deposition. Within each column, the walls between the lacunae break down and the chondrocytes die. This converts each column into a longitudinal channel, which is immediately invaded by blood vessels and marrow from the marrow cavity. Osteoblasts line up along the walls of these channels and begin depositing concentric lamellae of matrix, while osteoclasts dissolve the temporarily calcified cartilage.


Functions

Bones have a variety of functions:


Mechanical

Bones serve a variety of mechanical functions. Together the bones in the body form the
skeleton A skeleton is the structural frame that supports the body of an animal. There are several types of skeletons, including the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside ...
. They provide a frame to keep the body supported, and an attachment point for skeletal muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints, which function together to generate and transfer forces so that individual body parts or the whole body can be manipulated in three-dimensional space (the interaction between bone and muscle is studied in
biomechanics Biomechanics is the study of the structure, function and motion of the mechanical aspects of biological systems, at any level from whole organisms to organs, cells and cell organelles, using the methods of mechanics. Biomechanics is a branch of ...
). Bones protect internal organs, such as the skull protecting the brain or the ribs protecting the
heart The heart is a muscular organ in most animals. This organ pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system. The pumped blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the body, while carrying metabolic waste such as carbon dioxide to ...
and lungs. Because of the way that bone is formed, bone has a high
compressive strength In mechanics, compressive strength or compression strength is the capacity of a material or structure to withstand loads tending to reduce size (as opposed to tensile strength which withstands loads tending to elongate). In other words, compre ...
of about , poor tensile strength of 104–121 MPa, and a very low shear stress strength (51.6 MPa). This means that bone resists pushing (compressional) stress well, resist pulling (tensional) stress less well, but only poorly resists shear stress (such as due to torsional loads). While bone is essentially
brittle A material is brittle if, when subjected to stress, it fractures with little elastic deformation and without significant plastic deformation. Brittle materials absorb relatively little energy prior to fracture, even those of high strength. Bre ...
, bone does have a significant degree of elasticity, contributed chiefly by collagen. Mechanically, bones also have a special role in
hearing Hearing, or auditory perception, is the ability to perceive sounds through an organ, such as an ear, by detecting vibrations as periodic changes in the pressure of a surrounding medium. The academic field concerned with hearing is auditor ...
. The
ossicles The ossicles (also called auditory ossicles) are three bones in either middle ear that are among the smallest bones in the human body. They serve to transmit sounds from the air to the fluid-filled labyrinth ( cochlea). The absence of the audit ...
are three small bones in the
middle ear The middle ear is the portion of the ear medial to the eardrum, and distal to the oval window of the cochlea (of the inner ear). The mammalian middle ear contains three ossicles, which transfer the vibrations of the eardrum into waves in the ...
which are involved in sound transduction.


Synthetic

The cancellous part of bones contain bone marrow. Bone marrow produces blood cells in a process called
hematopoiesis Haematopoiesis (, from Greek , 'blood' and 'to make'; also hematopoiesis in American English; sometimes also h(a)emopoiesis) is the formation of blood cellular components. All cellular blood components are derived from haematopoietic stem cells ...
. Blood cells that are created in bone marrow include red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells. Progenitor cells such as the hematopoietic stem cell divide in a process called mitosis to produce precursor cells. These include precursors which eventually give rise to white blood cells, and erythroblasts which give rise to red blood cells. Unlike red and white blood cells, created by mitosis, platelets are shed from very large cells called megakaryocytes. This process of progressive differentiation occurs within the bone marrow. After the cells are matured, they enter the circulation. Every day, over 2.5 billion red blood cells and platelets, and 50–100 billion
granulocyte Granulocytes are cells in the innate immune system characterized by the presence of specific granules in their cytoplasm. Such granules distinguish them from the various agranulocytes. All myeloblastic granulocytes are polymorphonuclear. They ha ...
s are produced in this way. As well as creating cells, bone marrow is also one of the major sites where defective or aged red blood cells are destroyed.


Metabolic

* Mineral storage – bones act as reserves of minerals important for the body, most notably
calcium Calcium is a chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. As an alkaline earth metal, calcium is a reactive metal that forms a dark oxide-nitride layer when exposed to air. Its physical and chemical properties are most similar ...
and phosphorus. Determined by the species, age, and the type of bone, bone cells make up to 15 percent of the bone. Growth factor storage—mineralized bone matrix stores important growth factors such as insulin-like growth factors, transforming growth factor,
bone morphogenetic protein Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are a group of growth factors also known as cytokines and as metabologens. Originally discovered by their ability to induce the formation of bone and cartilage, BMPs are now considered to constitute a group of p ...
s and others. *
Fat In nutrition, biology, and chemistry, fat usually means any ester of fatty acids, or a mixture of such compounds, most commonly those that occur in living beings or in food. The term often refers specifically to triglycerides (triple est ...
storage –
marrow adipose tissue Bone marrow adipose tissue (BMAT), sometimes referred to as marrow adipose tissue (MAT), is a type of fat deposit in bone marrow. It increases in states of low bone density -osteoporosis, anorexia nervosa/ caloric restriction, skeletal unweight ...
(MAT) acts as a storage reserve of fatty acids. *
Acid In computer science, ACID ( atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability) is a set of properties of database transactions intended to guarantee data validity despite errors, power failures, and other mishaps. In the context of databases, a sequ ...
- base balance – bone buffers the blood against excessive pH changes by absorbing or releasing alkaline salts. * Detoxification – bone tissues can also store
heavy metals upright=1.2, Crystals of osmium, a heavy metal nearly twice as dense as lead">lead.html" ;"title="osmium, a heavy metal nearly twice as dense as lead">osmium, a heavy metal nearly twice as dense as lead Heavy metals are generally defined as ...
and other foreign elements, removing them from the blood and reducing their effects on other tissues. These can later be gradually released for excretion. *
Endocrine The endocrine system is a messenger system comprising feedback loops of the hormones released by internal glands of an organism directly into the circulatory system, regulating distant target organs. In vertebrates, the hypothalamus is the neur ...
organ – bone controls phosphate metabolism by releasing
fibroblast growth factor 23 Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) is a protein and member of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family which participates in the regulation of phosphate in plasma and vitamin D metabolism. In humans it is encoded by the gene. FGF23 decreases rea ...
(FGF-23), which acts on kidneys to reduce phosphate reabsorption. Bone cells also release a hormone called
osteocalcin Osteocalcin, also known as bone gamma-carboxyglutamic acid-containing protein (BGLAP), is a small (49-amino-acid) noncollagenous protein hormone found in bone and dentin, first identified as a calcium-binding protein. Because osteocalcin has g ...
, which contributes to the regulation of
blood sugar Glycaemia, also known as blood sugar level, blood sugar concentration, or blood glucose level is the measure of glucose concentrated in the blood of humans or other animals. Approximately 4 grams of glucose, a simple sugar, is present in the bl ...
( glucose) and
fat deposition Adipose tissue, body fat, or simply fat is a loose connective tissue composed mostly of adipocytes. In addition to adipocytes, adipose tissue contains the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) of cells including preadipocytes, fibroblasts, vascular en ...
. Osteocalcin increases both the insulin secretion and sensitivity, in addition to boosting the number of insulin-producing cells and reducing stores of fat. * Calcium balance – the process of bone resorption by the osteoclasts releases stored calcium into the systemic circulation and is an important process in regulating calcium balance. As bone formation actively ''fixes'' circulating calcium in its mineral form, removing it from the bloodstream, resorption actively ''unfixes'' it thereby increasing circulating calcium levels. These processes occur in tandem at site-specific locations.


Remodeling

Bone is constantly being created and replaced in a process known as
remodeling Renovation (also called remodeling) is the process of improving broken, damaged, or outdated structures. Renovations are typically done on either commercial or residential buildings. Additionally, renovation can refer to making something new, ...
. This ongoing turnover of bone is a process of resorption followed by replacement of bone with little change in shape. This is accomplished through osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Cells are stimulated by a variety of
signals In signal processing, a signal is a function that conveys information about a phenomenon. Any quantity that can vary over space or time can be used as a signal to share messages between observers. The ''IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing'' ...
, and together referred to as a remodeling unit. Approximately 10% of the skeletal mass of an adult is remodelled each year. The purpose of remodeling is to regulate
calcium homeostasis Calcium metabolism is the movement and regulation of calcium ions (Ca2+) ''in'' (via the gut) and ''out'' (via the gut and kidneys) of the body, and ''between'' body compartments: the blood plasma, the extracellular and intracellular fluids, and ...
, repair microdamaged bones from everyday stress, and to shape the skeleton during growth. Repeated stress, such as weight-bearing exercise or bone healing, results in the bone thickening at the points of maximum stress ( Wolff's law). It has been hypothesized that this is a result of bone's piezoelectric properties, which cause bone to generate small electrical potentials under stress. The action of osteoblasts and osteoclasts are controlled by a number of chemical enzymes that either promote or inhibit the activity of the bone remodeling cells, controlling the rate at which bone is made, destroyed, or changed in shape. The cells also use paracrine signalling to control the activity of each other. For example, the rate at which osteoclasts resorb bone is inhibited by
calcitonin Calcitonin is a 32 amino acid peptide hormone secreted by parafollicular cells (also known as C cells) of the thyroid (or endostyle) in humans and other chordates. in the ultimopharyngeal body. It acts to reduce blood calcium (Ca2+), opposing the ...
and
osteoprotegerin Osteoprotegerin (OPG), also known as osteoclastogenesis inhibitory factor (OCIF) or tumour necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 11B (TNFRSF11B), is a cytokine receptor of the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily encoded by the ...
. Calcitonin is produced by
parafollicular cell Parafollicular cells, also called C cells, are neuroendocrine cells in the thyroid. The primary function of these cells is to secrete calcitonin. They are located adjacent to the thyroid follicles and reside in the connective tissue. These cells a ...
s in the thyroid gland, and can bind to receptors on osteoclasts to directly inhibit osteoclast activity. Osteoprotegerin is secreted by osteoblasts and is able to bind RANK-L, inhibiting osteoclast stimulation. Osteoblasts can also be stimulated to increase bone mass through increased secretion of
osteoid In histology, osteoid is the unmineralized, organic portion of the bone matrix that forms prior to the maturation of bone tissue. Osteoblasts begin the process of forming bone tissue by secreting the osteoid as several specific proteins. When ...
and by inhibiting the ability of osteoclasts to break down osseous tissue. Increased secretion of osteoid is stimulated by the secretion of growth hormone by the pituitary,
thyroid hormone File:Thyroid_system.svg, upright=1.5, The thyroid system of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 rect 376 268 820 433 Thyroid-stimulating hormone rect 411 200 849 266 Thyrotropin-releasing hormone rect 297 168 502 200 Hypothalamus rect 66 216 386 25 ...
and the sex hormones ( estrogens and
androgen An androgen (from Greek ''andr-'', the stem of the word meaning "man") is any natural or synthetic steroid hormone that regulates the development and maintenance of male characteristics in vertebrates by binding to androgen receptors. This incl ...
s). These hormones also promote increased secretion of osteoprotegerin. Osteoblasts can also be induced to secrete a number of
cytokine Cytokines are a broad and loose category of small proteins (~5–25 kDa) important in cell signaling. Cytokines are peptides and cannot cross the lipid bilayer of cells to enter the cytoplasm. Cytokines have been shown to be involved in autoc ...
s that promote reabsorption of bone by stimulating osteoclast activity and differentiation from progenitor cells. Vitamin D, parathyroid hormone and stimulation from osteocytes induce osteoblasts to increase secretion of RANK- ligand and interleukin 6, which cytokines then stimulate increased reabsorption of bone by osteoclasts. These same compounds also increase secretion of
macrophage colony-stimulating factor The colony stimulating factor 1 (CSF1), also known as macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), is a secreted cytokine which causes hematopoietic stem cells to differentiate into macrophages or other related cell types. Eukaryotic cells als ...
by osteoblasts, which promotes the differentiation of progenitor cells into osteoclasts, and decrease secretion of osteoprotegerin.


Volume

Bone volume is determined by the rates of bone formation and bone resorption. Recent research has suggested that certain growth factors may work to locally alter bone formation by increasing osteoblast activity. Numerous bone-derived growth factors have been isolated and classified via bone cultures. These factors include insulin-like growth factors I and II, transforming growth factor-beta, fibroblast growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor, and bone morphogenetic proteins. Evidence suggests that bone cells produce growth factors for extracellular storage in the bone matrix. The release of these growth factors from the bone matrix could cause the proliferation of osteoblast precursors. Essentially, bone growth factors may act as potential determinants of local bone formation. Research has suggested that cancellous bone volume in postmenopausal osteoporosis may be determined by the relationship between the total bone forming surface and the percent of surface resorption.


Clinical significance

A number of diseases can affect bone, including arthritis, fractures, infections, osteoporosis and tumors. Conditions relating to bone can be managed by a variety of doctors, including
rheumatologists Rheumatology (Greek ''ῥεῦμα'', ''rheûma'', flowing current) is a branch of medicine devoted to the diagnosis and management of disorders whose common feature is inflammation in the bones, muscles, joints, and internal organs. Rheumatolog ...
for joints, and
orthopedic Orthopedic surgery or orthopedics ( alternatively spelt orthopaedics), is the branch of surgery concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic surgeons use both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal ...
surgeons, who may conduct surgery to fix broken bones. Other doctors, such as rehabilitation specialists may be involved in recovery,
radiologists Radiology ( ) is the medical discipline that uses medical imaging to diagnose diseases and guide their treatment, within the bodies of humans and other animals. It began with radiography (which is why its name has a root referring to radiati ...
in interpreting the findings on imaging, and
pathologist Pathology is the study of the causes and effects of disease or injury. The word ''pathology'' also refers to the study of disease in general, incorporating a wide range of biology research fields and medical practices. However, when used in th ...
s in investigating the cause of the disease, and
family doctor Family medicine is a medical specialty within primary care that provides continuing and comprehensive health care for the individual and family across all ages, genders, diseases, and parts of the body. The specialist, who is usually a primar ...
s may play a role in preventing complications of bone disease such as osteoporosis. When a doctor sees a patient, a history and exam will be taken. Bones are then often imaged, called
radiography Radiography is an imaging technique using X-rays, gamma rays, or similar ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation to view the internal form of an object. Applications of radiography include medical radiography ("diagnostic" and "therapeu ...
. This might include ultrasound
X-ray An X-ray, or, much less commonly, X-radiation, is a penetrating form of high-energy electromagnetic radiation. Most X-rays have a wavelength ranging from 10  picometers to 10 nanometers, corresponding to frequencies in the range 30  ...
, CT scan, MRI scan and other imaging such as a Bone scan, which may be used to investigate cancer. Other tests such as a blood test for autoimmune markers may be taken, or a
synovial fluid Synovial fluid, also called synovia, elp 1/sup> is a viscous, non-Newtonian fluid found in the cavities of synovial joints. With its egg white–like consistency, the principal role of synovial fluid is to reduce friction between the articular ...
aspirate may be taken.


Fractures

In normal bone, fractures occur when there is significant force applied or repetitive trauma over a long time. Fractures can also occur when a bone is weakened, such as with osteoporosis, or when there is a structural problem, such as when the bone remodels excessively (such as Paget's disease) or is the site of the growth of cancer. Common fractures include
wrist fracture A distal radius fracture, also known as wrist fracture, is a break of the part of the radius bone which is close to the wrist. Symptoms include pain, bruising, and rapid-onset swelling. The ulna bone may also be broken. In younger people, the ...
s and
hip fracture A hip fracture is a break that occurs in the upper part of the femur (thigh bone). Symptoms may include pain around the hip, particularly with movement, and shortening of the leg. Usually the person cannot walk. They most often occur as a res ...
s, associated with osteoporosis, vertebral fractures associated with high-energy trauma and cancer, and fractures of long-bones. Not all fractures are painful. When serious, depending on the fractures type and location, complications may include
flail chest Flail chest is a life-threatening medical condition that occurs when a segment of the rib cage breaks due to trauma and becomes detached from the rest of the chest wall. Two of the symptoms of flail chest are chest pain and shortness of breath. ...
, compartment syndromes or fat embolism.
Compound fracture A bone fracture (abbreviated FRX or Fx, Fx, or #) is a medical condition in which there is a partial or complete break in the continuity of any bone in the body. In more severe cases, the bone may be broken into several fragments, known as a ' ...
s involve the bone's penetration through the skin. Some complex fractures can be treated by the use of
bone grafting Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that replaces missing bone in order to repair bone fractures that are extremely complex, pose a significant health risk to the patient, or fail to heal properly. Some small or acute fractures can be cured wit ...
procedures that replace missing bone portions. Fractures and their underlying causes can be investigated by
X-ray An X-ray, or, much less commonly, X-radiation, is a penetrating form of high-energy electromagnetic radiation. Most X-rays have a wavelength ranging from 10  picometers to 10 nanometers, corresponding to frequencies in the range 30  ...
s, CT scans and
MRI Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to form pictures of the anatomy and the physiological processes of the body. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields, magnetic field gradients, and radio waves ...
s. Fractures are described by their location and shape, and several classification systems exist, depending on the location of the fracture. A common long bone fracture in children is a Salter–Harris fracture. When fractures are managed, pain relief is often given, and the fractured area is often immobilised. This is to promote
bone healing Bone healing, or fracture healing, is a proliferative physiological process in which the body facilitates the repair of a bone fracture. Generally, bone fracture treatment consists of a doctor reducing (pushing) displaced bones back into place ...
. In addition, surgical measures such as internal fixation may be used. Because of the immobilisation, people with fractures are often advised to undergo
rehabilitation Rehabilitation or Rehab may refer to: Health * Rehabilitation (neuropsychology), therapy to regain or improve neurocognitive function that has been lost or diminished * Rehabilitation (wildlife), treatment of injured wildlife so they can be retur ...
.


Tumors

There are several types of tumor that can affect bone; examples of benign bone tumors include osteoma,
osteoid osteoma An osteoid osteoma is a benign (non-cancerous) bone tumor that arises from osteoblasts and some components of osteoclasts. It was originally thought to be a smaller version of an osteoblastoma. Osteoid osteomas tend to be less than 1.5 cm i ...
,
osteochondroma Osteochondromas are the most common benign tumors of the bones. The tumors take the form of cartilage-capped bony projections or outgrowth on the surface of bones exostoses. It is characterized as a type of overgrowth that can occur in any bone w ...
, osteoblastoma, enchondroma, giant-cell tumor of bone, and
aneurysmal bone cyst Aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC) is a non-cancerous bone tumor composed of multiple varying sizes of spaces in a bone which are filled with blood. The term is a misnomer, as the lesion is neither an aneurysm nor a cyst. It generally presents with pai ...
.


Cancer

Cancer can arise in bone tissue, and bones are also a common site for other cancers to spread (
metastasise Metastasis is a pathogenic agent's spread from an initial or primary site to a different or secondary site within the host's body; the term is typically used when referring to metastasis by a cancerous tumor. The newly pathological sites, the ...
) to. Cancers that arise in bone are called "primary" cancers, although such cancers are rare. Metastases within bone are "secondary" cancers, with the most common being
breast cancer Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, milk rejection, fluid coming from the nipple, a newly inverted nipple, or a r ...
, lung cancer, prostate cancer,
thyroid cancer Thyroid cancer is cancer that develops from the tissues of the thyroid gland. It is a disease in which cells grow abnormally and have the potential to spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms can include swelling or a lump in the neck. Canc ...
, and kidney cancer. Secondary cancers that affect bone can either destroy bone (called a "
lytic The lytic cycle ( ) is one of the two cycles of viral reproduction (referring to bacterial viruses or bacteriophages), the other being the lysogenic cycle. The lytic cycle results in the destruction of the infected cell and its membrane. Bacter ...
" cancer) or create bone (a " sclerotic" cancer). Cancers of the bone marrow inside the bone can also affect bone tissue, examples including leukemia and
multiple myeloma Multiple myeloma (MM), also known as plasma cell myeloma and simply myeloma, is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that normally produces antibodies. Often, no symptoms are noticed initially. As it progresses, bone pain, anem ...
. Bone may also be affected by cancers in other parts of the body. Cancers in other parts of the body may release parathyroid hormone or
parathyroid hormone-related peptide Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is a proteinaceous hormone and a member of the parathyroid hormone family secreted by mesenchymal stem cells. It is occasionally secreted by cancer cells (for example, breast cancer, certain types of ...
. This increases bone reabsorption, and can lead to bone fractures. Bone tissue that is destroyed or altered as a result of cancers is distorted, weakened, and more prone to fracture. This may lead to compression of the spinal cord, destruction of the marrow resulting in
bruising A bruise, also known as a contusion, is a type of hematoma of tissue, the most common cause being capillaries damaged by trauma, causing localized bleeding that extravasates into the surrounding interstitial tissues. Most bruises occur close ...
,
bleeding Bleeding, hemorrhage, haemorrhage or blood loss, is blood escaping from the circulatory system from damaged blood vessels. Bleeding can occur internally, or externally either through a natural opening such as the mouth, nose, ear, urethra, v ...
and immunosuppression, and is one cause of bone pain. If the cancer is metastatic, then there might be other symptoms depending on the site of the original cancer. Some bone cancers can also be felt. Cancers of the bone are managed according to their type, their
stage Stage or stages may refer to: Acting * Stage (theatre), a space for the performance of theatrical productions * Theatre, a branch of the performing arts, often referred to as "the stage" * ''The Stage'', a weekly British theatre newspaper * St ...
, prognosis, and what symptoms they cause. Many primary cancers of bone are treated with radiotherapy. Cancers of bone marrow may be treated with
chemotherapy Chemotherapy (often abbreviated to chemo and sometimes CTX or CTx) is a type of cancer treatment that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs ( chemotherapeutic agents or alkylating agents) as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen. Chemother ...
, and other forms of targeted therapy such as immunotherapy may be used.
Palliative care Palliative care (derived from the Latin root , or 'to cloak') is an interdisciplinary medical caregiving approach aimed at optimizing quality of life and mitigating suffering among people with serious, complex, and often terminal illnesses. Wit ...
, which focuses on maximising a person's quality of life, may play a role in management, particularly if the likelihood of survival within five years is poor.


Other painful conditions

*
Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis (OM) is an infection of bone. Symptoms may include pain in a specific bone with overlying redness, fever, and weakness. The long bones of the arms and legs are most commonly involved in children e.g. the femur and humerus, while the ...
is inflammation of the bone or bone marrow due to bacterial infection. *
Osteomalacia Osteomalacia is a disease characterized by the softening of the bones caused by impaired bone metabolism primarily due to inadequate levels of available phosphate, calcium, and vitamin D, or because of resorption of calcium. The impairment of bon ...
is a painful softening of adult bone caused by severe vitamin D deficiency. *
Osteogenesis imperfecta Osteogenesis imperfecta (; OI), colloquially known as brittle bone disease, is a group of genetic disorders that all result in bones that break easily. The range of symptoms—on the skeleton as well as on the body's other organs—may be ...
*
Osteochondritis dissecans Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD or OD) is a joint disorder primarily of the subchondral bone in which cracks form in the articular cartilage and the underlying subchondral bone. OCD usually causes pain during and after sports. In later stages ...
*
Ankylosing spondylitis Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of arthritis characterized by long-term inflammation of the joints of the spine typically where the spine joins the pelvis. Occasionally areas affected may include other joints such as the shoulders or hip ...
*
Skeletal fluorosis Skeletal fluorosis is a bone disease caused by excessive accumulation of fluoride leading to weakened bones. In advanced cases, skeletal fluorosis causes painful damage to bones and joints. Symptoms Symptoms are mainly promoted in the bone structu ...
is a bone disease caused by an excessive accumulation of
fluoride Fluoride (). According to this source, is a possible pronunciation in British English. is an inorganic, monatomic anion of fluorine, with the chemical formula (also written ), whose salts are typically white or colorless. Fluoride salts ty ...
in the bones. In advanced cases, skeletal fluorosis damages bones and joints and is painful.


Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease of bone where there is reduced
bone mineral density Bone density, or bone mineral density, is the amount of bone mineral in bone tissue. The concept is of mass of mineral per volume of bone (relating to density in the physics sense), although clinically it is measured by proxy according to optical ...
, increasing the likelihood of fractures. Osteoporosis is defined in women by the World Health Organization as a bone mineral density of 2.5
standard deviation In statistics, the standard deviation is a measure of the amount of variation or dispersion of a set of values. A low standard deviation indicates that the values tend to be close to the mean (also called the expected value) of the set, whil ...
s below peak bone mass, relative to the age and sex-matched average. This density is measured using
dual energy X-ray absorptiometry Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA, or DEXA) is a means of measuring bone mineral density (BMD) using spectral imaging. Two X-ray beams, with different energy levels, are aimed at the patient's bones. When soft tissue absorption is subtracted ...
(DEXA), with the term "established osteoporosis" including the presence of a fragility fracture. Osteoporosis is most common in women after
menopause Menopause, also known as the climacteric, is the time in women's lives when menstrual periods stop permanently, and they are no longer able to bear children. Menopause usually occurs between the age of 47 and 54. Medical professionals often ...
, when it is called "postmenopausal osteoporosis", but may develop in men and premenopausal women in the presence of particular hormonal disorders and other chronic diseases or as a result of smoking and medications, specifically glucocorticoids. Osteoporosis usually has no symptoms until a fracture occurs. For this reason, DEXA scans are often done in people with one or more risk factors, who have developed osteoporosis and are at risk of fracture. One of the most important risk factors for osteoporosis is
advanced age Old age refers to ages nearing or surpassing the life expectancy of human beings, and is thus the end of the human life cycle. Terms and euphemisms for people at this age include old people, the elderly (worldwide usage), OAPs (British usage ...
. Accumulation of oxidative DNA damage in
osteoblastic Osteoblasts (from the Greek combining forms for "bone", ὀστέο-, ''osteo-'' and βλαστάνω, ''blastanō'' "germinate") are cells with a single nucleus that synthesize bone. However, in the process of bone formation, osteoblasts function ...
and
osteoclast An osteoclast () is a type of bone cell that breaks down bone tissue. This function is critical in the maintenance, repair, and remodeling of bones of the vertebral skeleton. The osteoclast disassembles and digests the composite of hydrated pr ...
ic cells appears to be a key factor in age-related osteoporosis. Osteoporosis treatment includes advice to stop smoking, decrease alcohol consumption, exercise regularly, and have a healthy diet.
Calcium Calcium is a chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. As an alkaline earth metal, calcium is a reactive metal that forms a dark oxide-nitride layer when exposed to air. Its physical and chemical properties are most similar ...
and
trace mineral In the context of nutrition, a mineral is a chemical element required as an essential nutrient by organisms to perform functions necessary for life. However, the four major structural elements in the human body by weight (oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, ...
supplements may also be advised, as may Vitamin D. When medication is used, it may include
bisphosphonate Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs that prevent the loss of bone density, used to treat osteoporosis and similar diseases. They are the most commonly prescribed drugs used to treat osteoporosis. They are called bisphosphonates because they h ...
s,
Strontium ranelate Strontium ranelate, a strontium(II) salt of ranelic acid, is a medication for osteoporosis marketed as Protelos or Protos by Servier. Studies indicate it can also slow the course of osteoarthritis of the knee. The drug is unusual in that it b ...
, and
hormone replacement therapy Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also known as menopausal hormone therapy or postmenopausal hormone therapy, is a form of hormone therapy used to treat symptoms associated with female menopause. These symptoms can include hot flashes, vagina ...
.


Osteopathic medicine

Osteopathic medicine is a school of medical thought originally developed based on the idea of the link between the musculoskeletal system and overall health, but now very similar to mainstream medicine. , over 77,000 physicians in the United States are trained in osteopathic medical schools.


Osteology

The study of bones and teeth is referred to as osteology. It is frequently used in
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, societies, and linguistics, in both the present and past, including past human species. Social anthropology studies patterns of behavi ...
,
archeology Archaeology or archeology is the scientific study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts, sites, and cultural landscapes ...
and
forensic science Forensic science, also known as criminalistics, is the application of science to criminal and civil laws, mainly—on the criminal side—during criminal investigation, as governed by the legal standards of admissible evidence and criminal ...
for a variety of tasks. This can include determining the nutritional, health, age or injury status of the individual the bones were taken from. Preparing fleshed bones for these types of studies can involve the process of maceration. Typically anthropologists and archeologists study bone tools made by '' Homo sapiens'' and ''
Homo neanderthalensis Neanderthals (, also ''Homo neanderthalensis'' and erroneously ''Homo sapiens neanderthalensis''), also written as Neandertals, are an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans who lived in Eurasia until about 40,000 years ago. While the ...
''. Bones can serve a number of uses such as projectile points or artistic pigments, and can also be made from external bones such as
antler Antlers are extensions of an animal's skull found in members of the Cervidae (deer) family. Antlers are a single structure composed of bone, cartilage, fibrous tissue, skin, nerves, and blood vessels. They are generally found only on males ...
s.


Other animals

Bird skeletons are very lightweight. Their bones are smaller and thinner, to aid flight. Among mammals,
bat Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera.''cheir'', "hand" and πτερόν''pteron'', "wing". With their forelimbs adapted as wings, they are the only mammals capable of true and sustained flight. Bats are more agile in flight than most bi ...
s come closest to birds in terms of bone density, suggesting that small dense bones are a flight adaptation. Many bird bones have little marrow due to them being hollow. A bird's beak is primarily made of bone as projections of the
mandible In anatomy, the mandible, lower jaw or jawbone is the largest, strongest and lowest bone in the human facial skeleton. It forms the lower jaw and holds the lower tooth, teeth in place. The mandible sits beneath the maxilla. It is the only movabl ...
s which are covered in keratin. Some bones, primarily formed separately in subcutaneous tissues, include headgears (such as bony core of horns, antlers, ossicones), osteoderm, and
os penis The baculum (also penis bone, penile bone, or ''os penis'', ''os genitale'' or ''os priapi'') is a bone found in the penis of many placental mammals. It is absent from the human penis, but present in the penises of some primates, such as the ...
/
os clitoris The os clitoridis (also called the os clitoris or baubellum) is a bone inside the clitoris of many mammalian taxa. It is absent from the human clitoris, but present in the clitoris of some primates, such as the ring-tailed lemurs. It is homologous ...
. A deer's
antler Antlers are extensions of an animal's skull found in members of the Cervidae (deer) family. Antlers are a single structure composed of bone, cartilage, fibrous tissue, skin, nerves, and blood vessels. They are generally found only on males ...
s are composed of bone which is an unusual example of bone being outside the skin of the animal once the velvet is shed. The extinct predatory fish ''
Dunkleosteus ''Dunkleosteus'' is an extinct genus of large armored, jawed fishes that existed during the Late Devonian period, about 382–358 million years ago. It consists of ten species, some of which are among the largest placoderms to have ever lived: ...
'' had sharp edges of hard exposed bone along its jaws. The proportion of cortical bone that is 80% in the human skeleton may be much lower in other animals, especially in marine mammals and
marine turtles Sea turtles (superfamily Chelonioidea), sometimes called marine turtles, are reptiles of the order Testudines and of the suborder Cryptodira. The seven existing species of sea turtles are the flatback, green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead, ...
, or in various Mesozoic marine reptiles, such as ichthyosaurs, among others. This proportion can vary quickly in evolution; it often increases in early stages of returns to an aquatic lifestyle, as seen in early whales and
pinniped Pinnipeds (pronounced ), commonly known as seals, are a widely distributed and diverse clade of carnivorous, fin-footed, semiaquatic, mostly marine mammals. They comprise the extant families Odobenidae (whose only living member is the walr ...
s, among others. It subsequently decreases in pelagic taxa, which typically acquire spongy bone, but aquatic taxa that live in shallow water can retain very thick,
pachyostotic Pachyostosis is a non-pathological condition in vertebrate animals in which the bones experience a thickening, generally caused by extra layers of lamellar bone. It often occurs together with bone densification (osteosclerosis), reducing inner ca ...
,
osteosclerotic Osteosclerosis is a disorder that is characterized by abnormal hardening of bone and an elevation in bone density. It may predominantly affect the medullary portion and/or cortex of bone. Plain radiographs are a valuable tool for detecting and ...
, or pachyosteosclerotic bones, especially if they move slowly, like sea cows. In some cases, even marine taxa that had acquired spongy bone can revert to thicker, compact bones if they become adapted to live in shallow water, or in
hypersaline A hypersaline lake is a landlocked body of water that contains significant concentrations of sodium chloride, brines, and other salts, with saline levels surpassing that of ocean water (3.5%, i.e. ). Specific microbial species can thrive in hi ...
(denser) water. Many animals, particularly
herbivore A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example foliage or marine algae, for the main component of its diet. As a result of their plant diet, herbivorous animals typically have mouthp ...
s, practice
osteophagy Osteophagy is the practice in which animals, usually herbivores, consume bones. Most vegetation around the world lacks sufficient amounts of phosphate. Phosphorus is an essential mineral for all animals, as it plays a major role in the formation o ...
—the eating of bones. This is presumably carried out in order to replenish lacking phosphate. Many bone diseases that affect humans also affect other vertebrates—an example of one disorder is skeletal fluorosis.


Society and culture

Bones from slaughtered animals have a number of uses. In
prehistoric times Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the beginning of recorded history with the invention of writing systems. The use ...
, they have been used for making bone tools. They have further been used in
bone carving Grazing caribou made in Alaska 1910 - Linden Museum Bone carving is creating art, tools, and other goods by carving animal bones, antlers, and horns. It can result in the ornamentation of a bone by engraving, painting or another technique, ...
, already important in prehistoric art, and also in modern time as crafting materials for
button A button is a fastener that joins two pieces of fabric together by slipping through a loop or by sliding through a buttonhole. In modern clothing and fashion design, buttons are commonly made of plastic but also may be made of metal, wood, ...
s,
bead A bead is a small, decorative object that is formed in a variety of shapes and sizes of a material such as stone, bone, shell, glass, plastic, wood, or pearl and with a small hole for threading or stringing. Beads range in size from under ...
s, handles,
bobbin A bobbin or spool is a spindle or cylinder, with or without flanges, on which yarn, thread, wire, tape or film is wound. Bobbins are typically found in industrial textile machinery, as well as in sewing machines, fishing reels, tape measures, ...
s, calculation aids,
head nut A nut, on a stringed musical instrument, is a small piece of hard material that supports the strings at the end closest to the headstock or scroll. The nut marks one end of the vibrating length of each open string, sets the spacing of the strings ...
s,
dice Dice (singular die or dice) are small, throwable objects with marked sides that can rest in multiple positions. They are used for generating random values, commonly as part of tabletop games, including dice games, board games, role-playing g ...
, poker chips, pick-up sticks,
arrow An arrow is a fin-stabilized projectile launched by a bow. A typical arrow usually consists of a long, stiff, straight shaft with a weighty (and usually sharp and pointed) arrowhead attached to the front end, multiple fin-like stabilizers c ...
s,
scrimshaw Scrimshaw is scrollwork, engravings, and carvings done in bone or ivory. Typically it refers to the artwork created by whalers, engraved on the byproducts of whales, such as bones or cartilage. It is most commonly made out of the bones and teeth ...
, ornaments, etc.
Bone glue Animal glue is an adhesive that is created by prolonged boiling of animal connective tissue in a process called rendering. In addition to being used as an adhesive it is used for coating and sizing, in decorative composition ornaments, and as ...
can be made by prolonged boiling of ground or cracked bones, followed by filtering and evaporation to thicken the resulting fluid. Historically once important, bone glue and other animal glues today have only a few specialized uses, such as in
antiques restoration Conservation and restoration of movable cultural property is a term used to denote the conservation of movable cultural property items in libraries, archives, museums and private collections. Conservation encompasses all the actions taken toward the ...
. Essentially the same process, with further refinement, thickening and drying, is used to make
gelatin Gelatin or gelatine (from la, gelatus meaning "stiff" or "frozen") is a translucent, colorless, flavorless food ingredient, commonly derived from collagen taken from animal body parts. It is brittle when dry and rubbery when moist. It may also ...
.
Broth Broth, also known as bouillon (), is a savory liquid made of water in which meat, fish or vegetables have been simmered for a short period of time. It can be eaten alone, but it is most commonly used to prepare other dishes, such as soups, ...
is made by simmering several ingredients for a long time, traditionally including bones.
Bone char Bone char ( lat, carbo animalis) is a porous, black, granular material produced by charring animal bones. Its composition varies depending on how it is made; however, it consists mainly of tricalcium phosphate (or hydroxyapatite) 57–80%, calc ...
, a porous, black, granular material primarily used for
filtration Filtration is a physical separation process that separates solid matter and fluid from a mixture using a ''filter medium'' that has a complex structure through which only the fluid can pass. Solid particles that cannot pass through the filter m ...
and also as a black pigment, is produced by
charring Charring is a chemical process of incomplete combustion of certain solids when subjected to high heat. Heat distillation removes water vapour and volatile organic compounds (syngas) from the matrix. The residual black carbon material is char, as di ...
mammal bones. Oracle bone script was a writing system used in
Ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the reign of king Wu Ding. Ancient historical texts such as the ''Book of Documents'' (early chapter ...
based on inscriptions in bones. Its name originates from oracle bones, which were mainly ox clavicle. The Ancient Chinese (mainly in the Shang dynasty), would write their questions on the oracle bone, and burn the bone, and where the bone cracked would be the answer for the questions. To point the bone at someone is considered bad luck in some cultures, such as
Australian aborigines Aboriginal Australians are the various Indigenous peoples of the Australian mainland and many of its islands, such as Tasmania, Fraser Island, Hinchinbrook Island, the Tiwi Islands, and Groote Eylandt, but excluding the Torres Strait Islands ...
, such as by the
Kurdaitcha A kurdaitcha, or kurdaitcha man, also spelt gadaidja, cadiche, kadaitcha, karadji, or kaditcha, is a type of shaman amongst the Arrernte people, an Aboriginal group in Central Australia. The name featherfoot is used to denote the same figure by ...
. The
wishbone Wishbone commonly refers to: * Furcula, a fork-shaped bone in birds and some dinosaurs Wishbone may also refer to: * Wish-Bone, an American salad dressing and condiment company * Wishbone formation, a type of offense in American football * Wishb ...
s of fowl have been used for divination, and are still customarily used in a tradition to determine which one of two people pulling on either prong of the bone may make a wish. Various cultures throughout history have adopted the custom of shaping an infant's head by the practice of
artificial cranial deformation Artificial cranial deformation or modification, head flattening, or head binding is a form of body alteration in which the skull of a human being is deformed intentionally. It is done by distorting the normal growth of a child's skull by applying ...
. A widely practised custom in China was that of foot binding to limit the normal growth of the foot.


Additional images

File:Gray72-en.svg, Cells in bone marrow File:Bertazzo S - SEM deproteined trabecular - wistar rat - x100.tif, Scanning electron microscope of bone at 100× magnification File:Bone structure marco photo.jpg, Structure detail of an animal bone


See also

*
Artificial bone Artificial bone refers to bone-like material created in a laboratory that can be used in bone grafts, to replace human bone that was lost due to severe fractures, disease, etc. Bone fracture, which is a complete or partial break in the bone, is a ...
*
Bone health The human skeletal system is a complex organ in constant equilibrium with the rest of the body. In addition to support and structure of the body, bone is the major reservoir for many minerals and compounds essential for maintaining a healthy pH ...
*
Distraction osteogenesis Distraction osteogenesis (DO), also called callus distraction, callotasis and osteodistraction, is a process used in orthopedic surgery, podiatric surgery, and oral and maxillofacial surgery to repair skeletal deformities and in reconstructive s ...
*
National Bone Health Campaign The national bone health campaign teaches young girls habits for improving their bone health by encouraging them to eat more foods with calcium and vitamin D, and participating in physical activities that help the bones. History The National Bone ...
*
Skeleton A skeleton is the structural frame that supports the body of an animal. There are several types of skeletons, including the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside ...


References


Further reading

* * * * – ''drawings by Philip J.'' * * – ''Anthony edits the current version; Harrison edited previous versions.''


External links


Educational resource materials (including animations) by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research


* ttp://www.scq.ubc.ca/?p=400 A good basic overview of bone biology from the Science Creative Quarterly*
Bone histology photomicrographs
{{Authority control Bones Skeletal system Connective tissue