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Proceedings Paper

Novel techniques for high-resolution functional imaging of trabecular bone
Author(s): Philipp Johannes Thurner; Ralph Muller; Johannes H. Kindt; Georg Schitter; Georg Ernest Fantner; Peter Wyss; Urs Sennhauser; Paul K. Hansma
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Paper Abstract

In current biological and biomedical research, quantitative endpoints have become an important factor of success. Classically, such endpoints were investigated with 2D imaging, which is usually destructive and the 3D character of tissue gets lost. 3D imaging has gained in importance as a tool for both, qualitative and quantitative assessment of biological systems. In this context synchrotron radiation based tomography has become a very effective tool for opaque 3D tissue systems. Results from a new device are presented enabling the 3D investigation of trabecular bone under mechanical load in a time-lapsed fashion. Using the highly brilliant X-rays from a synchrotron radiation source, bone microcracks and an indication for un-cracked ligament bridging are uncovered. 3D microcrack analysis proves that the classification of microcracks from 2D images is ambiguous. Fatigued bone was found to fail in burst-like fashion, whereas non-fatigued bone exhibited a distinct failure band. Additionally, a higher increase in microcrack volume was detected in fatigued in comparison to non-fatigued bone. Below the spatial resolution accessible with synchrotron radiation tomography we investigated native and fractured bone surfaces on the molecular scale with atomic force microscopy. The mineralized fibrils detected on fracture surfaces give rise to the assumption that the mineral-mineral interface is the weakest link in bone. The presented results show the power of functional micro-imaging, as well as the possibilities for AFM imaging (functional nano-imaging) in this context.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 April 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5746, Medical Imaging 2005: Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images, (14 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.595799
Show Author Affiliations
Philipp Johannes Thurner, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
Swiss Federal Labs. for Materials Testing and Research (Switzerland)
ETH and Univ. Zurich (Switzerland)
Ralph Muller, ETH and Univ. Zurich (Switzerland)
Johannes H. Kindt, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
Georg Schitter, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
Georg Ernest Fantner, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
Peter Wyss, Swiss Federal Labs. for Materials Testing and Research (Switzerland)
Urs Sennhauser, Swiss Federal Labs. for Materials Testing and Research (Switzerland)
Paul K. Hansma, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5746:
Medical Imaging 2005: Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images
Amir A. Amini; Armando Manduca, Editor(s)

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