Techniques and methods

The OBCD project has state-of-the-art facilities for skeletal imaging and analysis, together with world-leading sequencing and bioinformatics capability.

Qados Faxitron MX20
Digital X-ray images are used to determine skeletal morphology, anthropomorphic measurements and bone mineral content. Grey scale images are pseudo-coloured to illustrate bone mineral content.

Leica BL2, MZ75 and DM1L LED microscopes
Light microscopy is used for imaging whole mount specimens, histological sections and primary bone cell cultures.

Leica TCS SP5 microscope
Confocal microscopy is used for imaging dynamic histomorphometry, analysis of osteoclast function and fluorescence immunohistochemistry.

Instron 5543 load frame equipped with 10N, 100N and 500N load cells
The load frame is used to determine biomechanical parameters in long bones (destructive 3-point bend testing) and vertebrae (compression testing) and evaluate bone strength and toughness.

Scanco Medical µCT 50
MicroCT analysis is used to obtain 3D images of bones and joints. High-resolution data are used to determine trabecular and cortical bone structural variables and mineralisation, together with joint parameters. Lower resolution data are used for 3D statistical shape modelling studies. The microCT 50 system allows automated high-throughput imaging in addition to sub-micron resolution capability.

Tescan VEGA-3 XMU equipped with Deben KE-Developments 4-quadrant solid-state back-scattered electron detector
BSE-SEM is used for imaging bone and joint microarchitecture, determining trabecular and cortical boen and calcified cartilage micro-mineralisation densities, and quantifying osteoclastic resoption suraces and osteocyte paratmeters. Micro-mineralisation density is quantiried at a sub-micron voxel resolution scale.

Illumina HiSeq XTen
The HiSeq is a high-throughput sequencing system which allows rapid and accurate analysis of genetic material.