The three-dimensional network of lacunae and canaliculi that regulates metabolism in bone contains osteocytes and their dendritic processes. We constructed a synchrotron radiation X-ray microscope for sequential tomography of mouse tibia first by using a Talbot interferometer to detect the degree of bone mineralization and then by using absorption contrast under a slightly defocused setting to enhance outline contrast thereby visualizing structures of the osteocyte lacuno-canalicular network. The resultant pair of tomograms was precisely aligned with each other, allowing evaluation of mineral density in the vicinity of each osteocyte lacuna and canaliculus over the entire thickness of the cortical bone. Thus, multiscan microscopic X-ray tomography is a powerful tool for analyzing bone mineralization in relation to the lacuno-canalicular network at the submicron resolution level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas