Bone structure has been analyzed through bone histomorphometry, using non-decalcified thin sections, and the usefulness of this method was already described earlier. However, it requires considerable training and time to prepare non-decalcified thin sections and histomorphometrical analysis, technically speaking. In addition, there are some technical difficulties with this method. For example, the sites of evaluation may be rather restricted, and it is inevitable to ruin "fine structure" to some extent (i.e., technical limitation of sample preparation).
In recent years, high-resolution microfocus X-ray CT scanners (micro-CT) have been developed. This method allows analyzing a fine structure of bone non-invasively and relatively easily, and it has been commonly applied for analysis of "bone structure". Currently, we use a complex-type X-ray CT instrument as a micro-CT apparatus. This instrument allows us to observe and assess the inner structure of bone non-invasively in a short period of time, without requiring any pretreatment of excised bone(s) in particular. In addition, bone samples can be re-utilized for Preparation of Hard Tissue Specimens after completion of the bone structure analysis.
In recent years, bone structure (structure of trabecular bone) has received a considerable attention as a factor related to the strength of bone, in addition to bone density.
In particular, we have established procedures for analysis of three-dimensional fine structure of cancellous tissue, based on micro-CT-based three-dimensional tomogram(s) of "bone".
Now, this procedure is considered "very useful" for assessment of bone structure.
Here, let’s introduce our most updated technology for determination of the parameters of bone structure, based on three-dimensional images acquired via micro-CT.