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Opportunities for biomineralization research using multiscale computed X-ray tomography as exemplified by bone imaging

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Biominerals typically have complex hierarchical structures traversing many length scales. This makes their structural characterization complicated, since it requires 3D techniques that can probe full specimens at down to nanometer-resolution, a combination that is difficult – if not impossible – to achieve simultaneously. One challenging example is bone, a mineralized tissue with a highly complex architecture that is replete with a network of cells. X-ray computed tomography techniques enable multiscale structural characterization through the combination of various equipment and emerge as promising tools for characterizing biominerals. Using bone as an example, we discuss how combining different X-ray imaging instruments allow characterizing bone structures from the nano- to the organ-scale. In particular, we compare and contrast human and rodent bone, emphasize the importance of the osteocyte lacuno-canalicular network in bone, and finally illustrate how combining synchrotron X-ray imaging with laboratory instrumentation for computed tomography is especially helpful for multiscale characterization of biominerals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107822
JournalJournal of Structural Biology
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

    Research areas

  • Biomineralization, Bone, Bone structure, Computed X-ray tomography, X-ray microscopy

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