Step down Vascular Calcification Analysis using State-of-the-Art Nanoanalysis Techniques
Curtze,Sven C.; Kratz,Marita; Steinert,Marian; Vogt,Sebastian (2016-03-16)
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New insights into the architecture and formation mechanisms of calcific lesions down to the nanoscale open a better understanding of atherosclerosis and its pathogenesis. Scanning electron-and atomic force microscope based nano-analytical characterization techniques were adapted to the assessment of an ex-vivo calcified coronary artery. Human atherosclerotic tissue and bone tissue reside a typical chemistry of Magnesium and Sodium rich Calcium phosphates, identified as whitlockite and Calcium apatite, respectively. Despite the obvious similarities in both chemistry and crystallography, there are also clear differences between calcified vascular tissue and bone such as the highly oriented growth in bone, revealing meso-crystal character, as opposed to the anisotropic character of calcified vascular lesions. While the grain size in vascular calcified plaques is in the range of nanometers, the grain size in bone appears larger. Spherical calcific particles present in both the coronary artery wall and embedded in plaques reveal concentric layers with variations in both organic content and degree of hydration.
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