In the Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders (PCMD), µCT imaging has been part of a broader “Imaging Core (IC)”. In the current proposal, due to a dramatically increased demand amongst our investigators for access to specific µCT modalities and specialized µCT imaging techniques, the need to develop new µCT imaging and analysis methods, and the desire to progress more deeply into this modality rather than more broadly across modalities for our community, a focused µCT Imaging Core (µCTIC) will replace the previous broad IC. However, in recognition of the importance of other imaging modalities, access for our investigators to these modalities (e.g., MRI, ultrasound and particularly for small animals) will be available through the existing Core facilities on campus and supported by a new intellectual guidance and funding mechanism as described in the Administrative Core. It is important to note that the proposed µCTIC does not exist for our members without this P30-supported PCMD. The overall objective of the µCTIC is to offer a wide range of µCT imaging approaches to evaluate musculoskeletal tissue injury and repair, and to provide training and consultation for new projects and collaborations utilizing these assays. Importantly, the µCTIC of the PCMD will have its home in Stemmler Hall, the same building as the other two Resource Cores and the Administrative Core, defining a clear home for the PCMD overall. The Specific Aims for the µCTIC are:
Aim 1: To provide guidance and expertise on the use of µCT imaging for musculoskeletal research through educational enrichment programs and one-on-one interactions.
Aim 2: To provide a range of µCT imaging resources, expertise, and services for the study of the structure, function and physiology of the musculoskeletal system in laboratory animals and humans.
Aim 3: To develop new µCT imaging-based techniques that will be applicable to musculoskeletal research.
Aim 4: To provide funding for the development of new projects and collaborations and to develop preliminary and/or feasibility data for investigators.