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Assessment of the human bone lacuno-canalicular network at the nanoscale and impact of spatial resolution

Abstract : Recently, increasing attention has been given to the study of osteocytes, the cells that are thought to play an important role in bone remodeling and in the mechanisms of bone fragility. The interconnected osteocyte system is deeply embedded inside the mineralized bone matrix and lies within a closely fitted porosity known as the lacuno-canalicular network. However, quantitative data on human samples remain scarce, mostly measured in 2D, and there are gaps to be filled in terms of spatial resolution. In this work, we present data on femoral samples from female donors imaged with isotropic 3D spatial resolution by magnified X-ray phase nano computerized-tomography. We report quantitative results on the 3D structure of canaliculi in human femoral bone imaged with a voxel size of 30 nm. We found that the lacuno-canalicular porosity occupies on average 1.45% of the total tissue volume, the ratio of the canalicular versus lacunar porosity is about 37.7%, and the primary number of canaliculi stemming from each lacuna is 79 on average. The examination of this number at different distances from the surface of the lacunae demonstrates branching in the canaliculi network. We analyzed the impact of spatial resolution on quantification by comparing parameters extracted from the same samples imaged with 120 nm and 30 nm voxel sizes. To avoid any bias related to the analysis region, the volumes at 120 nm and 30 nm were registered and cropped to the same field of view. Our results show that the measurements at 120 and 30 nm are strongly correlated in our data set but that the highest spatial resolution provides more accurate information on the canaliculi network and its branching properties.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 12:14:54 PM
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Boliang Yu, Alexandra Pacureanu, Cécile Olivier, Peter Cloetens, Françoise Peyrin. Assessment of the human bone lacuno-canalicular network at the nanoscale and impact of spatial resolution. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 10 (1), pp.4567. ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-61269-8⟩. ⟨inserm-02510928⟩

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