New and Innovative Technologies: Infrared Imaging



The FTIR Imaging Core has a Spectrum Spotlight FTIR imaging system. This technology utilizes PerkinElmer’s patented Dual Mode Detector (DMD). DMD provides significant performance advances compared to Infrared array detectors (64x64) previously used in this core. The Spotlight is capable of fast continuous collecting variable image size with spatial resolution of 6.25 and 25um and single-point IR microscopy. Wavelengths down to 720cm-1 can be imaged, allowing analyses of carbonate substitutions for phosphate in mineralized specimens. A full suite of powerful software tools is available. No probe molecule is required. It is non-destructive, thus results may be readily compared and contrasted against histology and histomorphometric data obtained on the very same section.

Human Iliac Crest Biopsy
Cortical Bone
Human iliac crest biopsy image
Mineral spatial distribution

Infrared imaging can provide quantitative and qualitative information on the amount and nature of mineral and matrix present (corresponding to ash-weight and porosity measurements), mineral crystallinity (crystallite size), acid phosphate and carbonate substitute, relative amount of collagen crosslinks, orientation of collagen fibers, collagen integrity, collagen glycosylation, proteoglycans, lipids, protein secondary structure, and DNA/RNA. We have applied this technique to a variety of normal and diseased tissues including: bone, dentin, enamel, cartilage, meniscus, tendon, skin, blood vessels, and osteoblast and chondrocyte cell cultures. Materials such as polyethylene, implant devices and graft materials (osteoinduction vs osteoconduction; ossification vs calcification, comparing and contrasting tissue generated by the graft material to the host tissue), and tissue-engineered constructs have also been evaluated.

collagen spatial distribution
Collagen spatial distribution

Infrared imaging may be applied to the evaluation of human and animal tissues in a variety of diseases such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, osteogenesis imperfecta, osteopetrosis, atherosclerosis, and diabetes, and to the evaluation of various therapeutic protocols  for these diseases. It can also be utilized in studies of protein adsorption and cellular/bacterial anchoring onto surfaces (biomineralization mechanisms, osteoinduction, pellicle and calculus formation, contact lenses), as well as dental tissues (dental caries, dentin, dentin bonding agents).

Infrared Images of Articular Cartilage
Infrared Images of Articular Cartilage

Representative Publications

  1. Alikhani M, Khoo E, Alyami B, Raptis M, Salgueiro JM, Oliveira SM, Boskey A, Teixeira CC. Osteogenic effect of high-frequency acceleration on alveolar bone. J Dent Res. 2012 Apr;91(4):413-9
  2. Boskey AL, Lukashova L, Spevak L, Ma Y, Khan SR. The kidney sodium-phosphate co-transporter alters bone quality in an age and gender specific manner. Bone. 2013 Apr;53(2):546-53
  3. Boskey AL, Verdelis K, Spevak L, Lukashova L, Beniash E, Yang X, Cabral WA, Marini JC. Mineral and matrix changes in Brtl/+ teeth provide insights into mineralization mechanisms. Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:295812.
  4. Coleman RM, Aguilera L, Quinones L, Lukashova L, Poirier C, Boskey A. Comparison of bone tissue properties in mouse models with collagenous and non-collagenous genetic mutations using FTIRI. Bone. 2012 Nov;51(5):920-8.
  5. Donnelly E, Meredith DS, Nguyen JT, Boskey AL. Bone tissue composition varies across anatomic sites in the proximal femur and the iliac crest. J Orthop Res.2012 May;30(5):700-6.
  6. Donnelly E, Meredith DS, Nguyen JT, Gladnick BP, Rebolledo BJ, Shaffer AD, Lorich DG, Lane JM, Boskey AL. Reduced cortical bone compositional heterogeneity with bisphosphonate treatment in postmenopausal women with intertrochanteric and subtrochanteric fractures. J Bone Miner Res. 2012 Mar;27(3):672-8..
  7. Gourion-Arsiquaud S, Lukashova L, Power J, Loveridge N, Reeve J, Boskey AL. Fourier transform infrared imaging of femoral neck bone: reduced heterogeneity of mineral-to-matrix and carbonate-to-phosphate and more variable crystallinity in treatment-naive fracture cases compared with fracture-free controls. J Bone Miner Res. 2013 Jan;28(1):150-61.
  8. Kim M, Kraft JJ, Volk AC, Pugarelli J, Pleshko N, Dodge GR. Characterization of a cartilage-like engineered biomass using a self-aggregating suspension culture model: molecular composition using FT-IRIS. J Orthop Res. 2011 Dec;29(12):1881-7.
  9. Paschalis EP, Mendelsohn R, Boskey AL. Infrared assessment of bone quality: a review. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2011 Aug;469(8):2170-8.
  10. Spalazzi JP, Boskey AL, Pleshko N, Lu HH. Quantitative mapping of matrix content and distribution across the ligament-to-bone insertion. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 3;8(9):e74349.

Fee Schedule

NIH Funded Users
Instrument: $65/hour
Data Analysis by Core: $65/hour

Non-NIH Funded Academic Users
Instrument: $75/hour
Data Analysis by Core: $75/hour

Computer usage for Data Analysis by Core User is free of charge.

Instrument and Data Analysis Training: $100/hour

Contact Information

Note: Publications that include data generated using the services of the Imaging Core must acknowledge support through NIH AR046121.

Adele Boskey, PhD
Phone: 212.606.1453

Support Staff
Mila Spevak, IR Imaging Core Technician
Phone: 212.606.1431
Fax: 212.774.7877