Micro-computed tomography assisted distal femur metaphyseal blunt punch compression for determining trabecular bone strength in mice

Uma Sankar, Zachary J. Pritchard, Michael J. Voor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Shorter generation time and the power of genetic manipulation make mice an ideal model system to study bone biology as well as bone diseases. However their small size presents a challenge to perform strength measurements, particularly of the weight-bearing cancellous bone in the murine long bones. We recently developed an improved method to measure the axial compressive strength of the cancellous bone in the distal femur metaphysis in mice. Transverse micro-computed tomography image slices that are 7 μm thick were used to locate the position where the epiphysis-metaphysis transition occurs. This enabled the removal of the distal femur epiphysis at the exact transition point exposing the full extent of metaphyseal trabecular bone, allowing more accurate and consistent measurement of its strength. When applied to a murine model system consisting of five month old male wild-type (WT) and Ca2+/calmodulin dependent protein kinase kinase 2 (CaMKK2) knockout (KO) Camkk2-/- mice that possess recorded differences in trabecular bone volume, data collected using this method showed good correlation between bone volume fraction and strength of trabecular bone. In combination with micro-computed tomography and histology, this method will provide a comprehensive and consistent assessment of the microarchitecture and tissue strength of the cancellous bone in murine mouse models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1233-1237
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 3 2016



  • Blunt punch compression
  • Distal femur
  • Metaphyseal cancellous bone strength
  • Micro-CT
  • Mouse models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation

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