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Phys Med Biol. 2012 Jun 7;57(11):3451-61. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/57/11/3451. Epub 2012 May 11.

X-ray vector radiography for bone micro-architecture diagnostics.

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Department of Physics and Institute of Medical Engineering, Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen, 85748 Garching, Germany.


The understanding of large biophysical systems at the systems level often depends on a precise knowledge of their microstructure. This is difficult to obtain, especially in vivo, because most imaging methods are either limited in terms of achievable field of view, or make use of penetrating ionizing radiations such as x-rays, in which case the resolution is severely limited by the deposited dose. Here, we describe a new method, x-ray vector radiography (XVR), which yields various types of information about the local orientation, anisotropy and average size of the sample microstructures. We demonstrate the feasibility by showing first experimental XVRs of human vertebra bone samples, giving information on the trabecular structures even with a pixel resolution of half a millimetre, much larger than the structures themselves. This last point is critical for the development of low-dose measurement methods which will allow for in vivo studies and potentially in the future for new medical diagnostics methods of bone metabolic disorder diseases such as osteoporosis.

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