Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 170–178 | Cite as

Application of Bioimaging to Osteocyte Biology

Original Paper


In a variety of scientific fields, it is helpful to visualize natural phenomena. Newly developed methods of visualization often lead to breakthroughs in scientific fields. Especially, in the bioscience field, it is significant to reveal temporal–spatial responses in cells while visualizing molecular phenomena. Such visualization may provide information to help understand cellular behavior in response to an extracellular stimulus. Although osteocytes are the most abundant cells in bone, it has been difficult to study their biological nature because they are embedded in hard bone tissue. So, the real 3D structure of osteocytes was not clarified until recently. On the other hand, a newly developed technique of visualization was recently introduced into bone cell biology. In this review, we introduce and review our application of a bioimaging technique to reveal the morphology of osteocytes as well as part of their biological nature.


Osteocyte Bioimaging Mechanical stimuli Ultra-high voltage electron microscopy (UHVEM) Calcium imaging Cell–cell communications 



This study was supported in part by the Japan Society for the promotion of science in the form of a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, and the Nanotechnology Network Project of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan at the Research Center for Ultrahigh Voltage Electron Microscopy, Osaka University (Handai Multifunctional Nano-Foundry).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OrthodonticsGraduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama UniversityKita-kuJapan
  2. 2.Department of BiomechanicsResearch Center for Nano Medical Engineering, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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