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Cross-modality imaging of bisphosphonatetreated murine jawbones

In this proof-of-principle study, we established and implemented a cross-modality imaging (CMI) pipeline to characterize and compare bisphosphonate (BIS)-treated jawbones of Sprague-Dawley rats after tooth extraction after physical therapies (photobiomodulation and extracorporeal shockwave therapy (PBMT and ESWT)). We showcase the feasibility of such a CMI approach and its compatibility across imaging modalities to probe the same region of interest (ROI) of the same jawbone. Jawbones were imaged in toto in 3D using micro-Computed Tomography to identify ROIs for subsequent sequential 2D analysis using well-established technologies such as Atomic Force Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy, and recent imaging approaches in biomedical settings, such as micro-X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy. By combining these four modalities, multiscale information on the morphology, topography, mechanical stiffness (Young’s modulus), and calcium, zinc and phosphorus concentrations of the bone was collected. Based on the CMI pipeline, we characterized and compared the jawbones of a previously published clinically relevant rat model of BIS-related osteonecrosis of the jawbone (BRONJ) before and after treatment with BISs, PBMT and ESWT. While we did not find that physical therapies altered the mechanical and elemental jawbone parameters with significance (probably due to the small sample size of only up to 5 samples per group), both ESWT and PBMT reduced pore thicknesses and bone-to-enamel distances significantly compared to the controls. Although focused on BIS-treated jawbones, the established CMI platform can be beneficial in the study of bone-related diseases in general (such as osteoarthritis or -porosis) to acquire complementary hallmarks and better characterize disease status and alleviation potentials

Reier et al 2021
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