The Mineral–Collagen Interface in Bone

S. R. Stock*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


The interface between collagen and the mineral reinforcement phase, carbonated hydroxyapatite (cAp), is essential for bone’s remarkable functionality as a biological composite material. The very small dimensions of the cAp phase and the disparate natures of the reinforcement and matrix are essential to the material’s performance but also complicate study of this interface. This article summarizes what is known about the cAp-collagen interface in bone and begins with descriptions of the matrix and reinforcement roles in composites, of the phases bounding the interface, of growth of cAp growing within the collagen matrix, and of the effect of intra- and extrafibrilar mineral on determinations of interfacial properties. Different observed interfacial interactions with cAp (collagen, water, non-collagenous proteins) are reviewed; experimental results on interface interactions during loading are reported as are their influence on macroscopic mechanical properties; conclusions of numerical modeling of interfacial interactions are also presented. The data suggest interfacial interlocking (bending of collagen molecules around cAp nanoplatelets) and water-mediated bonding between collagen and cAp are essential to load transfer. The review concludes with descriptions of areas where new research is needed to improve understanding of how the interface functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-280
Number of pages19
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 6 2015


  • Apatite
  • Bone
  • Collagen
  • Mineral–collagen interface
  • Non-collagenous proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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