The mandibular condyle is considered a good model for developing cancellous bone because of its rapid growth and high rate of remodeling. The aim of the present study was to analyze the simultaneous changes in microarchitecture and mineralization of cancellous bone during development in a three-dimensional fashion. Eight mandibular condyles of pigs aged 8 weeks prepartum to 108 weeks postpartum were scanned using microCT with an isotropic spatial resolution of 10 μm. The number of trabeculae decreased during development, whereas both the trabecular thickness and the distance between the trabeculae increased. The bone surface to volume ratio decreased during development, possibly limiting the amount of (re)modeling. Both the mean degree of mineralization and intratrabecular differences in mineralization between the surfaces and cores of trabecular elements increased during development. The trabecular surfaces were more highly mineralized in the older condyles compared to the younger ones. Together with the observed decrease in the relative size of trabecular surface, this finding suggests a decrease in (re)modeling activity during development. In accordance with the general growth and development of the pig, it was concluded that most developmental changes in cancellous bone occur until the age of 40 weeks postpartum.
- Trabecular bone