Micro-computed tomography ((mu) CT) is an emerging technique to nondestructively image and quantify trabecular bone in three dimensions. Where the early implementations of (mu) CT focused more on technical aspects of the systems and required equipment not normally available to the general public, a more recent development emphasized practical aspects of micro- tomographic imaging. That system is based on a compact fan- beam type of tomograph, also referred to as desktop (mu) CT. Desk-top (mu) CT has been used extensively for the investigation of osteoporosis related health problems gaining new insight into the organization of trabecular bone and the influence of osteoporotic bone loss on bone architecture and the competence of bone. Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by excessive bone loss and deterioration in bone architecture. The reduced quality of bone increases the risk of fracture. Current imaging technologies do not allow accurate in vivo measurements of bone structure over several decades or the investigation of the local remodeling stimuli at the tissue level. Therefore, computer simulations and new experimental modeling procedures are necessary for determining the long-term effects of age, menopause, and osteoporosis on bone. Microstructural bone models allow us to study not only the effects of osteoporosis on the skeleton but also to assess and monitor the effectiveness of new treatment regimens. The basis for such approaches are realistic models of bone and a sound understanding of the underlying biological and mechanical processes in bone physiology. In this article, strategies for new approaches to bone modeling and simulation in the study and treatment of osteoporosis and age-related bone loss are presented. The focus is on the bioengineering and imaging aspects of osteoporosis research. With the introduction of desk-top (mu) CT, a new generation of imaging instruments has entered the arena allowing easy and relatively inexpensive access to the three-dimensional microstructure of bone, thereby giving bone researchers a powerful tool for the exploration of age-related bone loss and osteoporosis.
Ralph Mueller, Ralph Mueller,
"Microtomographic imaging in the process of bone modeling and simulation", Proc. SPIE 3772, Developments in X-Ray Tomography II, (22 September 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.363740; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.363740