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March 28, 2023 | OncoBone article

Fast, precise and accurate analysis of Body Composition in small animals by Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA)

OncoBone is a distributor of small-animal DXA iNSiGHT in Europe.

DXA technology: Gold Standard for body composition analysis

DXA (Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry) is a measurement technology that is based on variable absorption of X-rays by different body components. DXA uses high and low energy X-ray photons that are differentially absorbed by different tissue types, including bone, soft and fat tissues. DXA measurements distinguish bone from soft tissues due to higher number of calcium and phosphorous atoms in bone compared to carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms in soft tissues. Fat is largely composed of repeated methylene units ((CH2)n), whereas X-ray attenuation of lean tissues is similar to water (H2O). The difference in X-ray attenuation between fat and lean tissues is attributed to the atomic number difference between carbon and oxygen.

iNSiGHT DXA: Body Composition Analyzer for small laboratory animals

iNSiGHT DXA is a fully shielded body composition analyser for small laboratory animals such as rodents. It offers fast scanning time, high-resolution images and user-specified multiple ROI analytics with ultimate precision accuracy. iNSiGHT allows total and regional assessment for longitudinal in vivo follow-up of these compartments.

iNSiGHT allows accurate separation of fat, lean and bone mass (g) and their ratio (%) in specific ROIs as well as in total body.

iNSiGHT can be widely used in musculoskeletal and metabolic diseases

Traditional bone, fat and body composition analysis

Invasive methods requiring animal sacrifice and post-mortem studies have traditionally been used for determining bone and fat parameters and body composition in small animals. For bone parameters such methods include µCT, histomorphometry, biomechanical testing and ash weight analysis. µCT can also be used non-invasively in vivo, but it involves long-term X-ray exposure that restricts repeated scannings in vivo and use in longitudinal studies. Another method that can be used for adipose tissue analysis in rodents is NMR, which involves prohibitive costs and long acquisition times. Rapid, quantitative and non-invasive alternatives are therefore desirable.

iNSiGHT DXA: Precision, accuracy and easiness of analysis

Non-invasive iNSiGHT DXA has overcome the limitations mentioned above by fast planar imaging, minimal radiation exposure, and radiation-free environment for researchers, offering a novel optimized method for in vivo imaging of small animals that allows longitudinal investigations with repeated scannings in long-term studies. iNSiGHT DXA has proven much higher precision (CV<1%) and accuracy (R²>0.9) than those of NMR and µCT. iNSiGHT DXA presents ultimate high-resolution images of 100 μm, and its magnification shelf supports high-end image analysis of up to 4-fold magnification for X-ray imaging (DR images). DR imaging and Color Mapping for lean and fat distribution is optimized for visual analysis and assessment. As pivotal tools enabling a genuine longitudinal study, iNSiGHT is equipped with Multiple ROI settings, allowing researchers more flexibility and more precise analysis.

Key features of iNSiGHT include:

  • Easy to use
  • High precision and accuracy
  • Fully shielded cabinet safe for the users
  • Longitudinal measurements in anesthetized animals
  • Safe low-dose radiation allowing repeated measurements

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