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 COHR: Center for Oral Health Research | Oral Histology & Digital Imaging Core | Mineralized Tissue Imaging

Mineralized Tissue Facility

 Contact us at COHR-MTF@musc.eduL-COHR Services Catalog and Pricing
 Services now available on SPARC!SPARC Instructions (pdf file)

The Mineralized Tissue Facility (MTF) within the Center for Oral Health Research is dedicated to providing MUSC researchers with the equipment, techniques, and technical expertise necessary to study mineralized tissues. The facility is closely associated with the Oral Preclinical Research Facility and both are located on the first floor of the Basic Science Building (BSB) on the MUSC campus.

MTF services are available to researchers investigating mineralized tissue biology and function at MUSC and other institutions. The facility is equipped with state of the art equipment and experienced staff to assist both new and experienced researchers.

Researchers are encouraged to consult with COHR staff prior to sample preparation.  Staff are available for:
•Assistance with sample preparation, processing and analysis
•Experimental design consultation
•Training in specialized techniques

Services available:
microCT scanning and analysis
The MTF operates a Scanco uCT40 ex vivo scanner with an analysis workstation and server.  The uCT40 is capable of up to 6 um resolution scanning of samples up to 6 mm in diameter.  Larger samples (up to 35 mm diameter) can be scanned at lower resolutions.  

 microCT Request Form (fillable pdf)

Some available analyses include:
•Analysis of trabecular and cortical bone parameters

•Bone volume fraction analysis
•Mineral density analysis
•3D reconstruction
•2D and 3D measurements

Digital image acquisition and analysis
The facility operates an upright Olympus BX61 automated microscope equipped with a digital color camera and motorized stage, 1.25x-60x magnification, and brightfield and fluorescent illumination.  Acquisition software includes both CellSens for simple imaging and VisioPharm for automated imaging essential for TMAs and more complex studies.  Images can be analyzed for a variety of parameters using VisioPharm or Bioquant analysis software.

Digital Imaging Request Form (fillable pdf)

Available services include:
•Static and dynamic histomorphometry
•Brightfield and fluorescent image acquisition
•Automated image analysis
•TMA scanning

Mineralized tissue sectioning and histology
Histological analysis of mineralized samples including the bones and dentition can present unique challenges.  The MTF offers several services to assist researchers in the generation and analysis of these samples.  The facility operates specialized equipment, including a Microm HM360 motorized rotary microtome equipped with a tungsten carbide blade, Buehler diamond saw and grinder for generation of plastic and ground sections.  

Histology Request Form (fillable pdf)

Available services include:
•Sample decalcification

•Specialized histological stains
•Frozen sectioning of mineralized tissues (non-decalcified) for histology
•Plastic embedding and sectioning of mineralized samples

Additional equipment:

Faxitron LX-60 X-ray cabinet for generation of high resolution X-ray images.  This equipment is available for COHR member use to obtain high quality 2D X-ray images of samples both in vivo and ex vivo.  Training by and approval of COHR staff is required prior to use. 
Dell workstations running Bioquant and VisioPharm software packages for digital image analysis.  The PC can also be used to analyze microCT images using GE MicroView or Scanco analysis software packages.

Contact Information: 

James Cray Jr, PhD
Assistant Professor

Lixia Zhang, PhD
Research Specialist
BSB 129