The anisotropy of longitudinal wave velocity and the hydroxyapatite (HAp) crystallite orientation in bovine cortical bone were experimentally investigated in detail. A ring-shaped cortical bone sample was obtained from the midshaft of a 32-month-old bovine femur. Four cylindrical specimens (diameter 11 mm) were taken from the ring-shaped cortical bone specimen along the radial direction. Velocity was measured by a conventional ultrasonic pulse system, by rotating the specimen in the axial-tangential plane. The direction of the fastest wave velocity observed was inclined 5-10° from the axial direction. The HAp crystallite orientation in the specimen was also investigated by X-ray diffraction pole-figure analysis. We observed a strong intensive peak of (0002), indicating HAp crystallite c-axis alignment along the bone axis. However, the pole-figure also revealed a small tilt in the HAp crystallite orientation from the axial direction. Comparing the velocity and X-ray diffraction peak at each angle of the axial-tangential plane, a significant correlation between the velocity and the HAp orientation was observed.
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