From the Persian Gulf to the Hospital for Special Surgery Researchers Deploy High-Tech Infrared System to Study Bone Disease

New York, NY—April 1, 1999

The high-tech infrared imaging system developed to detect missile targets during the Persian Gulf War is now being used in the fight against bone disease. Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery have added the "Stingray" detection system to their own arsenal of state-of-the-art equipment. The technology allows scientists for the first time ever to obtain a complete chemical picture of bone tissue in a matter of minutes. They hope that in time the research will lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of devastating bone diseases, such as osteoporosis. More than 25 million Americans are affected by this debilitating and sometimes life-threatening disease, which causes bones to become weak and fracture easily.

A recent grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is supporting HSS scientists in their quest to unlock the mysteries of musculoskeletal disorders. The two million dollar grant will fund a Core Center for Skeletal Integrity, one of only two in the country, under the leadership of Tim Wright, PhD. Skeletal integrity refers to the biological, chemical and mechanical influences that make bone a unique tissue. Researchers will investigate how composition, structure and function interact to allow the body’s skeleton to fulfill its role, with the infrared imaging system a critical part of the research.

"The research will help us to gain a better understanding of bone diseases and hopefully lead to the discovery of new ways to prevent and treat them," said Dr. Wright. "Our goal is to promote collaboration among a multi-disiciplinary team of scientists in a setting that offers the most advanced tools available, such as the infrared system."

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the world’s largest academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics and No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2017), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at


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