Fluoride Action Network


The effect of fluoride ions on the mechanical properties of bone tissue in tension was investigated with an in vitro model. Structurally effective Bone Mineral Content (BMC) of bovine bone tissue was changed by fluoride ion treatment. First, bovine cortical bone specimens were treated with a detergent solution in order to increase the diffusion rates of the treatment ions across the samples. After the initial treatment, different ion solutions were used to treat the tension samples (fluoride, sodium and chloride). Ionic strength and pH were varied. Experimental results showed that the sodium chloride solutions of different ionic strengths, at physiological and high pH, do not affect the mechanical properties of bone tissue in tension. However, uniform fluoride treatment across the samples reduced the mechanical strength of bone tissue by converting small amounts of bone mineral to mostly calcium fluoride. This action reduces the structurally effective BMC and also possibly effects the interface bonding between the bone mineral and the organic matrix of the bone tissue.