Collagen birefringence

Brian Le Gros brian.legros at
Tue Dec 10 09:21:24 EST 2002

Dear List Members,

My questions are in regards to quantitative polarized light microscopy.  I
am trying to determine the absolute retardation of a cortical bone sample
and as such I need to know the difference between the fast and slow
refraction indices of the component collagen fibres.  The best references I
have at the moment suggest that the difference between the two (the actual
birefringence Bmax) is approximately 0.001.  Is this correct?  Is it
possible that anyone can state the specific difference between the
refraction indices of collagen fibres or direct me to any more definitive

Many thanks,

Brian Le Gros,
Laboratory of Bone Biomechanics,
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne,
CH-1015 Lausanne
Tél: ++41 21 693 3874
Fax: ++41 21 693 3509


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