The iNSiGHT is a fully shielded DXA (DEXA, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) system, designed specifically for use on preclinical small animal models such as mice and rats. The DXA technology provides quantification of body composition, such as bone mineral density (BMD), and measures of lean and fat mass.

Osteosys has been providing clinical body composition analyzers for over 20 years, with around 20,000 systems installed world-wide. With a strong background in research and development, Osteosys took their experience with clinical DXA technology and created the iNSiGHT system, providing researchers with a state of the art tool to study body composition non-invasively, with low dose radiation, suitable for longitudinal studies on the same animals.

FeatureBenefit
System is easy to operateData acquisition is very easy, no pre-treatment or agents need to be administered to acquire data.

Software interface makes acquiring and analyzing the data very intuitive and straight forward.

Low dose radiation is used to acquire the dataThere is minimal effect on the animal during each imaging session, allowing the same animal to be imaged repeatedly over the course of a longitudinal study.
Data is acquired non-invasivelyData acquisition is non-destructive and has no effect on the animal or ongoing study.

The same animals can be used throughout the course of a longitudinal study and be used as it’s own control.

Quantitative results, the available measurements include:

  • Bone mineral density (BMD) in g/cm2
  • Bone mineral content (BMC) in g
  • Bone area in cm2
  • Tissue area in cm2
  • Fat tissue as percentage and weight in % and g
  • Lean tissue as percentage and weight in % and g
  • Total weight in g
  • Additionally, specific bone length measurements can be drawn on the 2D x-ray image
One system can be used to study both bone, fat, and lean mass; rather than moving animal between systems, saving time, cost, and complexity to get comprehensive results.
Fast scans, acquired in approximately 25 secondsAnimal does not need to under anesthesia for prolonged periods of time.

High throughput data acquisition for large study groups.

Accurate and reproducible resultsQuantitative results can show smaller differences between study groups, and potentially fewer animals may be needed to provide the same outcome.
Data and image export in standard formatsThe quantitative results may be compiled within appropriate software to compare animals and study sets.

Images can be collected and presented in journal articles and presentations.

Fully shielded x-ray cabinetThe system can be placed in an existing laboratory environment, or even be placed within an animal facility behind the barrier.
Cost effective equipmentPurchase, operation, and maintenance costs of a DXA system are less than traditional imaging systems such as µCT or MRI.

Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) has been around for many years clinically, to study body composition, and more specifically bone density. The World Health Organization states that DXA is the gold standard for accurately monitoring bone mineral density (BMD), and it is considered the standard of care for diagnosing osteoporosis in the clinic.

Preclinical applications of DXA are diverse, ranging from metabolic bone diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis, a wide variety of metabolic disorders including diabetes and obesity, and musculoskeletal pathologies such as bone regeneration and muscle wasting diseases.

The iNSiGHT system is a fully shielded X-ray cabinet which was specifically designed for preclinical small animal DXA applications, primarily using mice, rats, and similarly sized animals. Measurements of body composition are taken quickly, are non-invasive, and use very low-dose radiation; combined this makes the iNSiGHT system ideal for following the same animal over the course of a longitudinal study.

Measurements are made, using dual energy x-rays, to allow each pixel to be assigned to a 3-compartment model – that is either fat mass, non-bone/lean mass, or bone mineral content. DXA does not require any pre-treatment of the animal, contrast, or substrate injection, to acquire the data. It is also non-destructive and provides highly accurate and reproducible measures. The measurements provided by the iNSiGHT system include the following:

  • Bone mineral density (BMD) in g/cm2
  • Bone mineral content (BMC) in g
  • Bone area in cm2
  • Tissue area in cm2
  • Fat tissue as percentage and weight in % and g
  • Lean tissue as percentage and weight in % and g
  • Total weight in g
  • Additionally, specific bone length measurements can be drawn on the 2D x-ray image

The quantitative results may be tracked over time on the same animal, and/or exported into a comma separated value format for data compilation and comparison. Measurements can be made on the whole animals, or on up to 7 regions of interest.

Download Technical Note (PDF)

Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) is a technology developed to study body composition, it is based on the variable absorption of x-rays by different components of the body using high and low energy x-ray photons.

In essence, two x-ray images are taken, one using low energy and one high energy x-ray beams. These images are inherently co-registered as the animal is anesthetized so it does not move. The attenuation of the x-ray beams is measured at both energy levels and algorithms are used to determine which of the 3-comparment system each pixel falls into – fat mass, non-bone/lean mass, or bone mineral content.

Historically, GE’s Lunar Piximus system was used widely for preclinical DXA analysis, however this system is no longer available in the marketplace. Osteosys designed the iNsIGHT system, taking into account their over 20 years of experience building clinical body composition analyzing systems. Specifically, the iNsIGHT system was designed to overcome some of the challenges experienced by those who had used legacy DXA systems, these improvements include a self-shielded cabinet, better user interface, and faster scan times.

The iNsIGHT system utilizes a flat panel detector and cone beam x-ray technology. This provides faster scans, with a wide scan area (16.5×25.5cm), and high resolution (124µm) images.

The acquisition results in 3 graphic outputs (1) x-ray attenuation image, (2) bone mineral density image, and (3) colorimetric image. From these images the software is able to generate the following measures on the whole body, or up to 7 different regions of interest, with an exclusion ROI if desired:

  • Bone mineral density (BMD) in g/cm2
  • Bone mineral content (BMC) in g
  • Bone area in cm2
  • Tissue area in cm2
  • Fat tissue as percentage and weight in % and g
  • Lean tissue as percentage and weight in % and g
  • Total weight in g
  • Additionally, specific bone length measurements can be drawn on the 2D x-ray image

X-Ray Attenuation Image

Bone Mineral Density Image

Colorimetric Image

DXA Analysis Results; blue ROI is an exclusion ROI to remove any pixels in this area from the measurements

Metabolic bone disease is a category of several diseases all causing some type of abnormality of deformity within the bone structure. Some examples include osteoporosis, rickets, osteomalacia, osteogenesis imperfecta etc. There are a large number of small animal models of these diseases which could benefit from DXA imaging to help elucidate the genetic, molecular, and biochemical pathways that are integral to these pathologies.

The iNSiGHT system can be used to assess the progression or regression of disease in response to a therapeutic regime by measuring bone mineral density and content, measuring bone length, and a 2D x-ray image is provided to visualize any imperfections or changes which may be occurring within the bone structures.

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, which can lead to swelling and pain within the affected area. It is not a single disease, but more informally refers to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, but most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. There are a large number of small animal models of these diseases which could benefit from DXA imaging to help elucidate the genetic, molecular, and biochemical pathways that are integral to these pathologies.

The iNSiGHT system can be used to assess the progression or regression of disease in response to a therapeutic regime by measuring changes in bone mineral density and content in the effected joints. Often these changes are seen earlier in the disease progression, while therapies may still be effective, prior to being visible on a traditional x-ray image. Once changes are visible on an x-ray the disease is considered quite advanced and recovery or response to therapy is not likely.

Metabolic disorders occur when the normal metabolic processes within the body are disrupted, either due to genetic abnormalities, or developed due to environmental conditions. There is a very long list of metabolic disorders, but most common are diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, etc. There are a large number of small animal models of these diseases which could benefit from DXA imaging to help elucidate the genetic, molecular, and biochemical pathways that are integral to these pathologies.

The iNSiGHT system can be used to assess the progression or regression of disease and body composition measurements in response to a therapeutic regime by measuring changes in fat and lean mass over time. The colorimetric image allows for the differentiation, by way of regions of interest, of visceral and subcutaneous fat, which may play a key role in further understanding these pathologies.

This is a large group of pathologies, which does include metabolic bone diseases as well as arthritis, both mentioned earlier, but further includes other disease effecting either the bones or muscles. Additional diseases include bone fractures and healing, bone and/or muscle regeneration, muscle wasting diseases. There are a large number of small animal models of these diseases which could benefit from DXA imaging to help elucidate the genetic, molecular, and biochemical pathways that are integral to these pathologies.

The iNSiGHT system can be used to assess the progression or regression of disease in response to a therapeutic regime by measuring changes in bone mineral density and content, and/or by measuring changes in fat and lean mass over time.

Drug safety and toxicology studies are key to the progression of target compounds progressing to clinical trials. In addition to efficacy of the target compound on their intended pathology, it is also very important to study their safety and potential toxic effects, some of these effects may be seen by studying changes in either the bones or fat and lean tissues. Small animal studies are routinely used for drug safety and toxicology screening protocols prior to target compounds advancing to more advanced preclinical studies in non-human primates for example, or before moving to clinical trials.

The iNSiGHT system can be used to assess changes in body composition in response to the administration of a target compound at an effective dose. This can be done by looking for changes in bone mineral density and content, and/or by measuring changes in fat and lean mass over time.

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