J.D. Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory

MTS 4-point bending fixture
Image of equine cadaveric leg loaded in  mechanical testing system

The Mechanical Testing System can accomodate anything from small pieces of tissue, to metal plates and screws (top image), to enitre cadaveric equine limbs (shown above).

MicroCT unit

The microCT unit produces high-resolution 3D imaging of small specimens.

Digital Radiography unit

The digital radiography unit.

X-ray image of mouse and microct image of mouse's leg and knee

This images is a composition of high-detail radiograph of the whole mouse, microCT of the mouse's leg and contrast-enhanced microCT showing soft-tissue and bone structure of the knee.


Mechanical testing is provided on a recharge basis covers technical support for machine operation and machine use.  Typical projects include strength testing of orthopedic implants or fracture repair constructs/plates/screws, materials testing of bone, tendon ligament for evaluation of a disease or effects of a treatment, or material properties testing.  Mechanical testing rates are $110/hour for monotonic testing and scaled to a maximum of $46/hour for fatigue testing depending on hours of use per test.  Design and Fabrication of materials testing fixtures or custom jigs for material processing is also provided at a rate of $36/hr.

Mineralized tissue processing is provided on a recharge basis at two different levels of support.  A “full service” rate includes technician time for performing the work, and a “graduate student” rate presumes that the graduate student is performing the work.  Full service rates are $244 and $188/specimen (with and without production of a high-definition microradiograph, respectively), and graduate student rates are $74 and $56/specimen, respectively. 

MicroCT specimen scanning (ScanCo uCT 35) is available on a recharge basis. The charge rate is $213 per scan/specimen.  The cost mostly covers xray tube usage (replacement costs) plus a small amount for technician’s time.  We will run a pilot scan for free to find optimal settings and make sure you see what you want to see.  The equipment is a high-resolution μCT specimen scanner (model μCT 35, Scanco Medical; Bassersdorf, Switzerland).  Capable of minimum 6 μm resolution and slice thickness (voxel size).  System is calibrated to varying concentrations of hydroxyapatite (HA) so that grey-values of the images were converted to units of density in mgHA/cc.  Resulting images are 2048 x 2048 pixels. Specimens must fit inside varying size tubes and be fully enclose in them (either dry, in saline, formalin or ethanol).  The maximum tube size is 35 mm diameter x 120 mm long.  The minimum tube size is 5 mm diameter x 120mm long. Scanner dimensions are 830 x 1150 x 490 mm (HxWxD), Weight (203 kg).  Software includes image filtering to reduce noise.  Quantitative analysis includes:  Bone volume fraction (BV/TV),bone volume (BV), total volume (TV), mean density of the bone material (MDBV), mean density of the total volume (MDTV), Trabecular thickness, number and space (Tb.Th, Tb.N and Tb.Sp, the degree of anisotropy (DA).

We provide high-detail radiographs of small bones or thin sections using a cabinet x-ray unit and mammography film. The cost is $11 per film.

An X-ray Film Processor is available in the lab for use on a recharge basis for $11/specimen

A portable digital radiography unit (Eklin Medical Systems- Mark III) is available in the lab for use on a recharge basis for $19/specimen.

Please contact Tanya Garcia-Nolen (email: tcgarcia@ucdavis.edu) for questions about and scheduling of these services.