A simple non invasive computerized method for the assessment of bone repair within osteoconductive porous bioceramic grafts

Francesco Beltrame, Ranieri Cancedda, Barbara Canesi, Antonio Crovace, Maddalena Mastrogiacomo, Rodolfo Quarto, Silvia Scaglione, Carmela Valastro, Federica Viti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Single energy X-ray imaging, due to its low cost and flexibility, is one of the most used and common technique to assess bone state and bone remodeling over time. Standardized X-ray images are needed to compare sets of radiographs for semi-quantitative analyses of tissue remodeling. However, useful mathematical modeling for the analysis of high level radiographic images are not easily available. In order to propose a useful evaluation tool to a wide clinical scenario, we present an innovative calibration algorithm for a semi-quantitative analysis of non-standardized digitized X-ray images. For calibration on a unique standardization scale, three time invariant regions (ROI) of radiographs were selected and analyzed. The accuracy of the normalization method for X-ray films was successfully validated by using an aluminum step wedge for routine X-ray exposures as tool to standardize serial radiographs (Pearson correlation test: R2 = 0.96). This method was applied to investigate the progression of the new bone deposition within ceramic scaffolds used as osteoconductive substitute in large bone defects taking advantage of a large animal model. This innovative image-processing algorithm allowed the identification and semi-quantification of the bone matrix deposited within the implant. The osteo-integration at the bone-implant interface was also investigated. A progressively increasing bonetissue deposition within the porous bioceramic implant and a progressive osteo-integration was observed during the 12 months of the trial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 20 2005


  • Bone formation
  • Calibration
  • Engineered bone tissue
  • Osteoconductive grafts
  • X-ray imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology


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