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The purpose of this study was to quantify the elastic properties and evaluate microscopical features of raw and boiled metatarsal bovine bone. Methods: The elastic modulus, hardness and microscopic surface of raw and cooked bovine metatarsal bone have been investigated using nanoindentation, SEM/EDX and Panasis microscope. Results: Regarding raw bovine bone, the average elastic modulus was 30.515 ± 6,769 GPa, while the average hardness was 0.5683 ± 0.211 GPa. When it comes to boiled bone corresponding values were 22.298 ± 7.0303 GPa and 0.408 ± 0.199 GPa, respectively. The values for investigated parameters were significantly higher ( p < 0.05) in raw bone specimens. Elastic modulus significantly correlated with hardness ( p < 0.05). EDX analysis revealed significant decrease in wt% of oxygen in boiled samples ( p < 0.05) No significant differences could be observed in SEM images particularly when analysing in smaller magnifications. Using higher magnification, additional branching of the existing voids as well as discrete reorganization and smoother edges of nutrient canals could be observed. The surface of boiled specimens was without the presence of crusts and layering, and no microscopical evidence of structural damage could be observed. Conclusions: This study provides detailed analysis of hardness, elastic modulus of raw and cooked bovine bone and their relation and changes during exposure to temperature. These results of elastic moduli and hardness could be comparable to similar studies of bovine and human bone tissue, but the careful analysis of experimental design, type of the bone as well as limitations of the employed techniques must be carried out before interpolation of the results to other theoretical, clinical, biomaterial and archeological studies.
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