Assessment of regional bone tissue perfusion in rats using fluorescent microspheres

Mohammad W. Aref, Ethan Akans, Matthew R. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Disturbances in bone blood flow have been shown to have deleterious effects on bone properties yet there remain many unanswered questions about skeletal perfusion in health and disease, partially due to the complexity of measurement methodologies. The goal of this study was use fluorescent microspheres in rats to assess regional bone perfusion by adapting mouse-specific fluorescent microsphere protocol. Ten fifteen-week old Sprague Dawley rats were injected with fluorescent microspheres either via cardiac injection (n = 5) or via tail vein injection (n = 5). Femora and tibiae were harvested and processed to determine tissue fluorescence density (TFD) which is proportional to the number of spheres trapped in the tissue capillaries. Right and left total femoral TFD (2.77 ± 0.38 and 2.70 ± 0.24, respectively) and right and left tibial TFD (1.11 ± 0.26 and 1.08 ± 0.34, respectively) displayed bilateral symmetry in flow when assessed in cardiac injected animals. Partitioning of the bone perfusion into three segments along the length of the bone showed the distal femur and proximal tibia received the greatest amount of perfusion within their respective bones. Tail vein injection resulted in unacceptably low TFD levels in the tibia from 4 of the 5 animals. In conclusion this report demonstrates the viability of cardiac injection of fluorescent microspheres to assess bone tissue perfusion in rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-144
Number of pages5
JournalBone Reports
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Animal models
  • Bone vasculature
  • Skeletal perfusion
  • Tissue fluorescence density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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