Quantitative ultrasonography (QUS) is a good method for measuring elastic properties of bone in vivo. Bovine cortical bone has two typical microstructures, plexiform and Haversian. In this study, the relationship between the speed of sound (SOS) and the hydroxyapatite (HAp) crystallite orientation in the axial direction was investigated in two different aged bovine cortical bones. The dependence of attenuation on anatomical position was also investigated. Two ring-permanent hyphen shaped cortical bone samples were obtained from 36- and 24-month-old bovine femurs. SOS was measured with a conventional ultrasonic pulse system. The integrated intensity of the (0002) peak obtained by X-ray diffraction was determine to evaluate the amount of preferred orientation. Regardless of the age of the bovine femurs, a significant correlation between SOS and the preferred orientation of HAp crystallites was observed in parts of the plexiform structure, and the gradient of the relationship showed a similar tendency. Attenuation seemed to depend on bone microstructure.
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