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In vivo imaging of cortical porosity by synchrotron phase contrast micro computed tomography



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Cortical bone is a dynamic tissue which undergoes adaptive and pathological changes throughout life. An improved understanding of the spatio-temporal process of remodeling holds great promise for improving our understanding of bone development, maintenance and senescence. The use of micro-computed tomography (µCT) on living animals is relatively new and allows the three dimensional quantification of change in trabecular bone microarchitecture over time. The use of in vivo µCT is limited by the radiation dose created by the x-ray beam, with commercially available in vivo systems generally operating in the 10-20 um resolution range and delivering an absorbed dose between 0.5-1 Gy. Because dose scales to the power of four with resolution, in vivo imaging of the cortical canal network, which requires a higher resolution, has not been achieved. I hypothesized that using synchrotron propagation phase contrast µCT, cortical porosity could be imaged in vivo in rats at a dose on the same level as those used currently for trabecular bone analysis. Using the BMIT-BM beamline, I determined the optimal propagation distance and used ion chamber and lithium fluoride crystal thermoluminescent dosimetry to measure the absorbed dose of my in vivo protocol as well as several ex vivo protocols using synchrotron phase contrast µCT at 5 µm, 10 µm, and 11.8 µm and conventional desktop in vivo protocols using commercial µCT systems. Using synchrotron propagation phase contrast µCT, I scanned the forelimb of two adult Sprague-Dawley rats and measured an absorbed dose of 2.53 Gy. Using two commercial µCT system, I measured doses between 1.2-3.6 Gy for protocols at 18µm that are in common use. This thesis represents the first in vivo imaging of rat cortical porosity and demonstrates that an 11.8 µm resolution is enough to visualize cortical porosity in rats, with a dose within the scope of those used for imaging trabecular bone in vivo.



Cortical bone, Micro-CT, In vivo imaging, Phase contrast



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Anatomy and Cell Biology


Anatomy and Cell Biology


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