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Columbia University uses technological innovation to study bone structure
Date:1/15/2011

A team of researchers at Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center announced today the results of the first study comparing bone structure in Chinese-American women to Caucasian women. The report, just presented at the Orthopaedic Research Society's annual meeting at Long Beach, CA, found that pre-menopausal Chinese-American women have far greater bone strength than their Caucasian counterparts, as determined by a breakthrough technological advance.

The Columbia team was led by X. Edward Guo, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science, and, from Columbia University Medical Center, John P. Bilezikian, Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, Marcella Walker, Assistant Professor of Medicine, and X. Sherry Liu, Associate Research Scientist.

The team used a groundbreaking analytical technique developed at Columbia Engineering Individual Trabeculae Segmentation (ITS) to analyze the microstructure and strength of the trabecular, or spongy bone, one of the two types of tissue that form bone (the other is cortical, or compact bone). Trabecular bone is the most important site of osteoporosis-related fractures. Critical to the research was the use of ITS, an advanced 3-D imaging analysis technique that was conceived and developed in Dr. Guo's Bone Bioengineering Laboratory, and has a unique ability using high-resolution computed tomography images to quantify the plate and rod microstructure crucial to bone strength and osteoporotic fracture of bone.

The Columbia group is the first to apply ITS to clinical studies; this is the first time they have applied ITS to ethnic studies of bone health. A total of 95 women were included in the study49 Caucasian and 46 Chinese-American. There were no significant age differences between the two groups (367 vs. 354).

"We found in this research that Chinese-American women do not have the same risk of fracture as Caucasian
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Contact: Holly Evarts
holly@engineering.columbia.edu
347-453-7408
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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