Navigation Links
Illuminating fractures: X-ray imaging sheds new light on bone damage
Date:3/7/2013

ITHACA, N.Y. From athletes to individuals suffering from osteoporosis, bone fractures are usually the result of tiny cracks accumulating over time -- invisible rivulets of damage that, when coalesced, lead to that painful break.

Using cutting-edge X-ray techniques, Cornell University researchers have uncovered cellular-level detail of what happens when bone bears repetitive stress over time, visualizing damage at smaller scales than previously observed. Their work could offer clues into how bone fractures could be prevented.

Marjolein van der Meulen, professor of biomedical engineering, led the study published online March 5 in PLOS One using transmission X-ray microscopy at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, part of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Study and images: http://bit.ly/Yf70EN

Using the high-energy hard X-rays at SLAC's synchrotron, the researchers produced images of damage in sheep bone at a resolution of 30 nanometers -- several times better than standard imaging via X-ray microcomputed tomography, which is at best 2-4 microns in resolution. (A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. For comparison, the width of a human hair is about 70 microns, or 70,000 nanometers.)

"In skeletal research, people have been trying to understand the role of damage," said van der Meulen, whose research is called mechanobiology -- how mechanics intersects with biological processes. "One of the things people have hypothesized is that damage is one of the stimuli that cells are sensing."

The inability of cells to repair microdamage over time ultimately contributes to the failure and breaking of bone, van der Meulen said. Until now, visualization techniques of microdamage were limited to lower resolution images. More detailed bone features, such as the small spaces called lacunae, where cells reside, and the microscopic canals between them, called caniliculi, were not visible.

The imaging involved special preparation of sheep bone samples led by graduate student and first author Garry Brock. First they cut 2 mm square matchstick-like samples.

The matchsticks were "damaged" in the lab at various levels: Some received 20,000 cycles of "loading" in bending; others received a single dose of loading; and others were notched before loading. All samples were treated with a lead-uranyl acetate X-ray negative stain that seeps into porosity caused by damage in the bone tissue. Then sections from the loaded segment were polished to 50-micron thicknesses.

A greater amount of stain was seen in sections subjected to repetitive stress. But instead of seeing new surfaces formed by damage, or cracks, as was expected, the researchers observed damage in the cellular structures. The X-rays picked up the dye within existing, intact structures, like the lacunae where the cells sit, and in the caniliculi.

"The tissue is not breaking, but rather, there is staining within the cells," Brock said.

Added van der Meulen: "We were surprised by how cell-based the staining was, as opposed to forming lots of new surfaces in the material."

In osteoporotic individuals, including many postmenopausal women, fractures usually occur in the forearm, spine and hip. van der Meulen's team is trying to understand why these fractures occur by studying nano- and microscale changes in bone tissue.

They are also exploring the possibility of studying whether a class of osteoporosis drugs called bisphosphonates, which reduce the overall rate of hip fractures but can lead to "atypical femoral fractures," affect nanoscale damage processes. These unusual fractures occur at sites that normally do not fracture with osteoporosis such as in the middle of the bone shaft. The new damage visualization method could lend new insights in future studies.


'/>"/>
Contact: Syl Kacapyr
vpk6@cornell.edu
607-255-7701
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Dental X-Rays May Be Linked to Benign Brain Tumors
2. Screening for breast cancer without X-rays: Lasers and sound merge in promising diagnostic technique
3. Empa X-ray expert decodes diesel soot
4. X-Rays May Up Breast Cancer Risk for Women With Certain Genes: Study
5. Airport Security X-Rays May Damage Diabetes Devices
6. Arizona Dental Heights Moves to Using the New Nomad Pro Hand Held X-Ray System
7. A Media Representative for Dr. Castro Announces New Updates on the Dental Implants Specialist in Rancho Cucamonga's Website with Information on Digital X-Rays
8. Fighting sleeping sickness with X-ray lasers
9. Live imaging shows response to cancer drugs can be boosted by altering tumor microenvironment
10. MR enterography is as good or better than standard imaging exams for pediatric Crohns patients
11. Use of dedicated pediatric imaging departments for pediatric CT reduces radiation dose
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 21, 2017 , ... ... management assistance and financial planning services to families and business owners in northern ... event that promises to provide support to area adults with developmental challenges. , ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... ... selected to renovate and improve the Ramsey County Medical Examiners Facility located in ... Hospital, the $2.5 million project is scheduled to start in late 2017/early 2018. ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... , ... July 21, 2017 , ... ... and Theater of Witness , was awarded a $300,000 grant from ... program which fosters empathy, comfort with ambiguity and the recognition of one’s own ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Bernard R. Bach, Jr., MD, orthopaedic surgeon at Rush University ... of Sports Medicine (AOSSM) , received the 2017 Robert E. Leach Sports Medicine Leadership ... This prestigious award is given annually to honor those who have made a significant ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of ... of violence and aggression to solve problems and pleads with world leaders to be more ... forces do not bring peace. He says there is a peaceful and positive way to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/10/2017)... 2017  BDI Group subsidiary Pathway Purchasing Network, ... organization serving specialty pharmacies, home infusion companies and ... significant, value-added member programs designed to help organizations ... and improve access and affordability for patients who ... Pathway has worked ...
(Date:7/10/2017)... , July 10, 2017 Locus Biosciences ... Note to support the development of CRISPR-Cas3 antimicrobial therapeutics. ... Limited, a leading Chinese Internet services provider, and joined ... advance multiple infectious disease product programs targeting antibiotic resistant ... Founded by Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou ...
(Date:7/5/2017)... , July 5, 2017 Wolfmet 3D ... answer as physics and manufacturing combine to progress molecular radiotherapy ... existing SPECT systems are unable to accurately quantify the radiation ... limited information regarding the success of this radiotherapy treatment has ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: