Bone Fragility & Organic Matrix

FWF Project PAT 2735923

Project Details

Project Leader

Dr. Eleftherios Paschalis

Team Members


Funding Agency

Austrian Science Fund FWF

Project Term (foreseen funding period)

2 years

Project Summary

Despite concerted efforts, identifying patients that will sustain fragility (atraumatic or low energy) fractures remains a formidable challenge.
There is a considerable discrepancy between fracture risk (estimated from clinically available diagnostic tools such as Dual x-ray Absorptiometry and biochemical markers) and actual fracture incidence.
One of the reasons for this is the fact that diagnostic methods employed in the everyday clinical practice focus on mineral considerations, yet bone is a composite material consisting of mineral, organic matrix, and water, thus its mechanical behaviour is dependent on the quantity and quality of all three components.
The proposed studies aim to bridge the gap between estimated fracture risk and actual fracture incidence by establishing the quality of the organic matrix in healthy and fragility fracture-sustaining patients irrespective of clinical diagnosis, as well as patients that are characterized by increased fracture risk yet do not sustain fragility fractures.
The anticipated results will establish common material properties that are evident in patients with fragility fractures independent of age and clinical aetiology. This will help in refining definition of musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoporosis, and provide indices for the development of new and more focused therapeutic protocols.