Columbia University

Technology Ventures

3D Individual Trabecula Segmentation (ITS) Morphological Analysis and Modeling Technique

Technology #m05-076

The technology is software, which automatically processes three dimensional images of trabecular bone microstructure and segment them into a collection of individual trabecular plates or rods. The dimension and orientation of each individual trabecular plates or rods are quantified and their 3D connections are also characterized.

Analyzing 3D images from real patients with ITS enables accurate early prediction of changes in metabolic bone diseases and evaluation of drugs that affect bone microstructure

Bone microstructure can be visualized at extremely high resolution using micro-CT or clinically using high-resolution peripheral quantitative CT (HR-pQCT) or micro magnetic resonance imaging (micro-MRI). Despite the existence of these imaging techniques, existing models of changes in the mechanical properties of bone do not fully account for changes in individual bone microstructures such as trabecular plates or rods. By employing a segmentation method to decompose the imaged microstructure into several distinct classes of elements and modeling how their changes affect the mechanical properties of bone, the technology can help to better identify changes in bone microstructure in metabolic bone diseases and also monitoring subtle changes during treatments of these metabolic bone diseases.

Lead Inventor:

Xiang-Dong Edward Guo, Ph.D.


  • 3D model-independent ITS morphological analysis of trabecular bone.


  • Earlier prediction of bone fracture risk before onset of osteoporosis or other bone remodeling disorders.
  • More accurate prediction of trabecular bone strength changes.
  • More accurate prediction of drug effects on bone remodeling.

Patent information:

Patent Pending (WO/2007/025155)

Tech Ventures Reference: IR M05-076

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