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Microdamage is a component of bone quality believed to play an integral role in bone health. However, comparability between existing studies is fraught with issues due to highly variable methods of sample preparation and poorly defined quantification criteria. To address these issues, this article has two aims. First, detailed methods for preparation and analysis of linear microcracks in human ribs, specifically addressing troubleshooting issues cited in previous studies, are laid out. Second, new, partially validated criteria are proposed in an effort to reduce subjective differences in microcrack counts and measures, ensuring more comparable results between studies. Revised definitions based on current literature in conjunction with a digital atlas to reduce observer inaccuracy and bias are presented. The goal is to provide a practical methodology for bone biologists and biomechanists to collect and analyze linear microcracks for basic science research.


This work was originally published in JBMR Plus, available at DOI: 10.1002/jbm4.10203

This article is distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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