Monitoring of formation/resorption events over time using sequential in vivo microcomputed tomography

Research Category: 
In vitro bone mechanobiology

Osteocytes are known to be the orchestrators of mechanosensation, as evidenced by our in vitro and ex vivo work, but the ultimate downstream effects of this sensation is best assessed using in vivo models. Daily cyclic mechanical loading can be applied to one tibia of a mouse via customized attachments to a load frame typically over 2 to 4 weeks. Often the contralateral limb serves as a non-loaded control. Each week both tibiae are scanned via micro-computed tomography, providing standard morphological measurements of trabecular and cortical bone. Beyond this, however, sequential scans are registered in 3-dimensional space allowing visualization and quantification of where bone has been formed and resorbed in the time between scans. These results can be used to interpret the impact of any number of mechanical loading regimens or drug treatments on bone formation and resorption in mice.

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