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Bone micro-cracks receive an increasing attention to explain bone quality. They have mainly been observed in 2D with microscopic techniques. In this paper, we propose a method based on 3D Synchrotron Radiation micro-CT to analyze micro-cracks in human trabecular bone samples. Samples were imaged with a voxel size of 1.4 mum. Despite micro- cracks are visible, their automatic detection is challenging because of noise, artifacts, low-contrast, and partial volume effect. We propose a two-steps procedure, based on image enhancement and segmentation to address this problem. The method enables to get the 3D morphology of micro-cracks, shown for the first time with this precision. Future work will be devoted to extract quantitative parameters on the crack morphology.
Date of Conference: 22-26 Aug. 2007