Next-generation imaging of the skeletal system and its blood supply

Grüneboom A, Kling L, Christiansen S, Mill L, Maier A, Engelke K, Quick HH, Schett G, Gunzer M (2019)

Publication Type: Journal article, Review article

Publication year: 2019


DOI: 10.1038/s41584-019-0274-y


Bone is organized in a hierarchical 3D architecture. Traditionally, analysis of the skeletal system was based on bone mass assessment by radiographic methods or on the examination of bone structure by 2D histological sections. Advanced imaging technologies and big data analysis now enable the unprecedented examination of bone and provide new insights into its 3D macrostructure and microstructure. These technologies comprise ex vivo and in vivo methods including high-resolution computed tomography (CT), synchrotron-based imaging, X-ray microscopy, ultra-high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), light-sheet fluorescence microscopy, confocal and intravital two-photon imaging. In concert, these techniques have been used to detect and quantify a novel vascular system of trans-cortical vessels in bone. Furthermore, structures such as the lacunar network, which harbours and connects osteocytes, become accessible for 3D imaging and quantification using these methods. Next-generation imaging of the skeletal system and its blood supply are anticipated to contribute to an entirely new understanding of bone tissue composition and function, from macroscale to nanoscale, in health and disease. These insights could provide the basis for early detection and precision-type intervention of bone disorders in the future.

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Grüneboom, A., Kling, L., Christiansen, S., Mill, L., Maier, A., Engelke, K.,... Gunzer, M. (2019). Next-generation imaging of the skeletal system and its blood supply. Nature Reviews Rheumatology.


Grüneboom, Anika, et al. "Next-generation imaging of the skeletal system and its blood supply." Nature Reviews Rheumatology (2019).

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