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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2006 Jan;100(1):274-80. Epub 2005 Sep 1.

Monochromatic synchrotron radiation muCT reveals disuse-mediated canal network rarefaction in cortical bone of growing rat tibiae.

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  • 1Division of Bioengineering, Osaka University Graduate School of Engineering Science, Toyonaka, Japan.


The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the ability of computed microtomography based on monochromatic synchrotron radiation (SRmuCT) in microstructural analysis of cortical bone. Tibial diaphyses of growing rats (14 wk, n = 8) undergoing unilateral sciatic neurectomy 8 wk before study were imaged with spatial volume resolution of 5.83 x 5.83 x 5.83 microm3 by SRmuCT (20 keV) at the synchrotron radiation facility (SPring-8). Reconstructed image data were translated into local mineral densities by using a calibrated linear relationship between linear absorption coefficients and concentrations of homogeneous K2HPO4 solution. Pure bone three-dimensional images, produced by simple thresholding at a bone mineral density of 0.82 g/cm3, were analyzed for macro- and microscopic structural properties. In neurectomized hindlimbs, cortical canal network rarefaction as well as bone atrophy were found. The former was characterized by 30% smaller porosity, 11% smaller canal density in transverse section, and 38% smaller canal connectivity density than those in contralateral bone. On the other hand, no difference was found in bone mineral density between neurectomized and intact hindlimbs (1.37 vs. 1.36 g/cm3). In conclusion, SRmuCT is a promising method for the three-dimensional analysis of cortical microstructure and the degree of mineralization in small animals.

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