There’s a new, more complete way to image bone strength. Instead of just relying on X-rays of the mineral phase of bone, lasers can quantify the organic phase. This press release from researchers at the Imperial College of London explains further:
Although X-rays can be used to measure bone strength, they can only be used to measure bone mineral density, which only accounts for part of the strength. The new Raman spectroscopic technique allows scientists to measure the collagen, which also affects bone strength by eliminating the spectral components of overlying tissues.
The scientists plan to develop this work into a test for women during adolescence to predict the likelihood of osteoporosis developing in later life. By taking steps earlier on, such as increasing exercise to build up bone mass, this could prevent the need for more interventions such as Risedronate (Actonel) later.
More from Dr. Edward Draper…