Musculoskeletal Pathology Studies

Our experienced pathologists and scientists, together with a team of highly trained technicians, provide study design and project execution services for therapeutics devised for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis, arthritis, and bone and cartilage healing. Histological scoring methods are used to assess the effects of medical or surgical treatments on disease progression or development and to document the tissue responses to biomaterial and devices as well as the healing of fractures and bone defects in relevant animal models. Carcinogenicity studies involving known bone carcinogens have been conducted and evaluated by the laboratory.

GLP-compliant image analysis systems permit the evaluation of standard and user-defined static and dynamic measurements for bone and muscle. Our staff has expertise in the preparation of high-quality ground and thin sections of plastic-embedded tissue for such measurements.

Structural and dynamic changes in cortical and cancellous bone can be monitored through the application of computer-assisted histomorphometry, which measures parameters characterizing the bone matrix, cells, and the extent of fluorochrome labels. Biopsies of ribs and ilium and bones from various appendicular and axial sites have been tested in various laboratory animal species. Measurements of myofiber density and diameter as well as myofiber typing with immunohistochemistry permit characterization of the effects of treatments upon skeletal muscles. Standard radiology and digital high-resolution radiology (Faxitron) are available to detect occult skeletal changes and to guide the trimming of bone lesions and implant-tissue interface.

    • Decalcified Paraffin Processing for:
      • Organ and tissue morphology
      • Cellular and molecular norphology
      • Phentyping
      • Special Stains
      • Immunohistochemical stains
    • Undecalcified bone embedding for:
      • In vivo bone labeling techniques
      • Special stains
    • Bone histomorphometry
      • Structural and dynamic variables
      • Cancellous and cortical bone analyses
      • Defect or implant site healing
    • Muscle histomorphometry
      • Myofiber density and number
      • Myofiber typing

    Precise measurements of bone densitometry and bone architecture are crucial to evaluating the effects of disease or drug modification. Our state-of-the-art preclinical imaging laboratory offers high-throughput scanning of excised bones and in vivo scanning at clinically relevant sites. Our laboratory is equipped with standard and high-resolution radiology, DXA, QCT and micro-CT scanners for diagnostic and quantitative imaging.


    Biomechanical strength measurements are the most critical endpoint in evaluating the effects of drug treatment on the integrity of bone and provide an important index of bone quality. Coupled with our expertise in imaging, bone strength measurements are correlated with bone densitometry parameters to evaluate the important relationship between bone mass and strength.