This work determined whether mineral dissolution due to prolonged testing or storage of bone s~'imens in normal salint: would alter Lheir elastic modulus. In one experiment, small pieces of equine third metacarpal bone were soaked in normal saline supplemented with varying amounts of CaCI1. Changing Ca ion concentrations in the bath were monitored and the equilibrium concentration was determined. In a second experiment, the elastic moduli of twenty 4 x 10 x 100 mm equine third metacarpal beams were determined non-destructively in four-point bending. Half the beams were then soaked for 10 days in normal saline, and the other half in saline buffered to the bone mineral equilibrium point with Ca ions. Modulus measurements were repeated at 6 and 10 days. The oquilibrium Ca ion con.centration for bone specimens was found to be 57.5 mgl - •. The modulus of bone specimens soaked in normal saline significantly diminished 2.4%, whereas the modulus of those soaked in calcium-buffered saline did not change significantly.
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