Bone mineralization changes with age and disease. The distribution of mineral particles in a given bone (mineralization profile) has been studied using density fractionation as well as microradiography and electron backscattering imaging. The biological determinant of mineralization is the rate of turnover. During rapid growth and periods of high remodeling, mineralization is shifted towards lower mineral density (hypomineralization). During aging and periods of low remodeling, mineralization is shifted towards higher mineral densities (hypermineralization). Chemicals can also influence the mineralization profile of bone. Fluoride induces hypermineralization by stabilizing the apatite lattice and reducing bone mineral solubility, whereas strontium induces hypomineralization by loosening the apatite lattice and increasing bone mineral solubility. Drugs such as bisphosphonates induce hypermineralization by inhibiting resorption and acting as crystal poison. Finally, mineralization can be impaired by defects as in rickets and osteomalacia or made excessive by continuous accretion of mineral without resorption as in osteopetrosis.
Keywords: Bone mineralization; Mineralization profile; Aging; Disease; Trace elements