Using EDTA extraction procedure, compact and spongy bone from human femur, rib and iliac crest were compared in terms of their content in collagen, sialoprotein, proteoglycan and carbohydrate. The bone matrix sizes displayed significant variations, the femur having the smallest size and iliac crest the largest one. No significant difference in the matrix size has been found between the spongy and compact bone. The EDTA extractability of the spongy bone was higher than that of the compact bone, with femur showing the lowest extractability. The collagen content of the 3 bones studied was similar although the femur had slightly lower values. The sialic and uronic acids and hexose contents were higher in the femur than in the rib and iliac crest. The collagen/hexose, collagen/sialic acid and collagen/uronic acid ratios in the bone matrix were highest in the iliac crest and lowest in the femur, suggesting that alterations in the amounts of bone matrix can affect the mechanical properties of different parts of the bony skeleton and vice versa.

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