The micro-computed tomography (microCT) core provides high-resolution assessments of density, geometry and microarchitecture of mineralized tissues, such as bones and teeth, calcification as result of pathology, or soft tissues and biomaterials stained with radiographic contrast media.

MicroCT Bone ImagingBone Imaging

Sample Preparation:

  • Dissect any soft tissue from the specimen using forceps, being careful not to damage the specimen.
  • Place sample in 70% ethanol, PBS, or 10% formalin. We prefer 70% ethanol as a fixative. If femurs will be tested mechanically after scanning use PBS.  Specimens will not be accepted without an appropriate NFPA chemical hazard label on the container.
  • Before samples can be scanned, a sample name must be generated for each sample in the Micro-CT database. Please ID all samples for scanning before submission.

The main bone parameters returned from the analysis are:

  • TV: total volume [mm^3]
  • BV: bone volume [mm^3]
  • BV/TV: the relative volume of calcified tissue in the selected volume of interest (VOI)
  • Tb.Th: measures the thickness of the trabecular structure
  • Tb.N: indicates the number of trabeculae
  • Tb.Sp: trabecular separation; measurement of the thickness of the spaces between the trabeculae. It is inversely proportional to the trabecular thickness
  • Conn.D: connectivity density, 3-D connectivity index; measure of the degree to which a structure is multiply connected
  • SMI: structure model index; this measurement is related to the architecture of the structure and ranges between 0 and 3. An SMI of 0 signifies that the structure is only plates, whereas a value of 3 means only cylindrical rods.

Micro_CT Fat ImagingFat Imaging and Analysis

Parameters returned from analysis include:

  • Vox-TV: Total fat volume [mm^3]
  • Vox-BV: Visceral fat volume [mm^3]
  • Tri-TV: Total volume of examined mouse part [mm^3]
  • Mean 1: Mean density of visceral fat [mg HA/ccm]
  • Mean 2: Mean density of subcutaneous fat [mg HA/ccm]Mean 3: Mean density of total fat [mg HA/ccm]


We analyzed repeatability, which is the variation in measurements obtained by one person on the microCT using multiple readings/quantification of the same samples.  Four femora were scanned three times each and VOX-TV and VOX-BV were measured for each scan for trabecular and cortical regions.  Deviations are represented for individual bone measurements and the calculations of group averages over the three repeat scans.

Individual Bones, trabecular measurements VOX-TV VOX-BV
standard deviation as % of mean Average 1.8% range from 0.08% to 4.4% Average 5.5%, range from 0.6% to 8.4%
Individual Bones, cortical  measurements VOX-TV VOX-BV
standard deviation as % of mean Average 0.15% range from 0.06% to 0.3% Average 0.3%, range from 0.07% to 0.5%
Experimental Group, n=4, trabecular measurements VOX-TV VOX-BV
standard deviation of group as % of group mean 1.89% 2.5%
Experimental Group, n=4, cortical measurements VOX-TV VOX-BV
standard deviation of group as % of group mean 0.05% 0.14%

Estimates of cost can be provided after submission of the microCT servcie form if requested. The final cost is based on total scanning and analysis time as follows:

Service Internal Rate Academic: Other Corporate/For-profit
All specimens $56.00/hour USD $85.00/hour USD $190.00/hour USD

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Director: Lucy Liaw, PhD

Manager: Terry Henderson

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