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The Bone Imaging and Biomechanics Core (BIBC) provides services to researchers interested in small animal phenotyping. The BIBC can provide measures of bone mineral density (BMD) and BMC in a variety of animal models and excised bones. BMD and BMC can be obtained in live, anesthetized animals using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in animals ranging from 15 g to 130 kg using one or our three DXA instruments.

GE-Lunar PIXImux
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Norland pDEXA Sabre
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GE-Lunar Prodigy
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Excised bones can be imaged using micro-computed tomography.


uCT; Scanco 40


With the Scanco 40 instrument, we can image bones up to 36mm in width and 80 mm in length. Six µm resolution is possible in bones of less than 12 mm in width (mouse and rat long bones). Information on trabecular bone (bone volume, density, trabecular number, separation, density and thickness) and cortical bone (bone volume, density, cortical thickness and moments of inertia) are available from the scans. Additionally, bones can be sent to the core in formalin or other preservatives so that histomorphometry can be conducted after the imaging is completed.

Three dimensional in vivo imaging of bone can be conducted using uCT (Imtek MicroCATII). Although not as quantitative as the Scanco 40 above, the Imtek instrument allows for relatively rapid screening of mice for bone abnormalities.

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The Faxitron Model MX-20 is a tabletop X-ray machine suitable for taking radiographic images of small animals (mice, rats). It has a digital camera, but has also X-ray film capability. It provides high resolution radiographs and is especially suitable for following the development of sclerotic or osteolytic bone lesions in mouse models of bone metastasis. The extent of bone lesions can be quantified from X-ray films with image analysis. Digital X-ray images can be analyzed with the image processing software. Data can be saved on a ZIP-disk and brought to one's own computer for analysis. Please note: The animals must be anesthetized with ketamine-xylazine right before X-ray images are taken. The use of inhaled anesthesia is prohibited, because it may pose a danger.


The Core has recently added a Orthometrix XCT 3000 that is capable of determine bone measurements in larger animals and humans.


The Bone Imaging and Biomechanics Core is located in Volker Hall.

To discuss the use or research application, please contact:

Director:                                                  Co-Director:
Tim R. Nagy, PhD                                      Alan Eberhardt, PhD
Professor and Director                               Professor
Department of Nutrition Sciences                Department of Biomedical Engineering
WEBB 429, ZIP: 3360                                Office: 205-934-8464
Office: 205-934-4088                                 Email:
Fax: 205-934-7050