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Functional micro-imaging of soft and hard tissue using synchrotron light

P. Thurner, P. Wyss, R. Voide, M. Stauber, B. Müller, M. Stampanoni, J.A. Hubbell, R. Müller and U. Sennhauser
Developments in X-ray Tomography IV
Bellingham, WA 2004


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. Cell cultures and adherent scaffolds are visualized in 3D in a hydrated environment, even uncovering the shape of individual cells. Advanced morphometry allows to characterize the differences between the cell cultures of two distinct phenotypes. Moreover, a new device is 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 burstlike 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. The developed technologies prove to be very effective tools for advanced 3D imaging of both hard and soft tissue.

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  author = {P. Thurner and P. Wyss and R. Voide and M. Stauber and B. M\"uller and M. Stampanoni and J.A. Hubbell and R. M\"uller and U. Sennhauser},
  title = {Functional micro-imaging of soft and hard tissue using synchrotron light},
  booktitle = {Developments in X-ray Tomography IV},
  year = {2004},
  pages = {112-128},
  volume = {5535},
  editor = {U. Bonse},
  series = {Proc. of SPIE},
  publisher = {SPIE},
  keywords = {imaging, image processing, micro-computed tomography, synchrotron radiation, soft tissue, cell cultures, contrast agents, bone, image guided failure assessment, microdamage}