Micro-computed tomography with iodine staining resolves the arrangement of muscle fibres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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  • Department of Musculoskeletal Biology, Institute of Ageing & Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool, Sherrington Buildings, Ashton Street, Liverpool, L69 3GE, UK. njeffery@liv.ac.uk


We illustrate here microCT images in which contrast between muscle and connective tissue has been achieved by means of staining with iodine. Enhancement is shown to be dependent on the concentration of iodine solution (I(2)KI), time in solution and specimen size. Histological examination confirms that the arrangement of individual muscle fibres can be visualised on the enhanced microCT images, and that the iodine accumulates in the muscle fibres in preference to the surrounding connective tissues. We explore the application of this technique to describe the fibrous structure of skeletal muscle, and conclude that it has the potential to become a non-destructive and cost-effective method for investigating muscle fascicle architecture, particularly in comparative morphological studies.

Bibliographic note

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-92
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2011


  • Animals, Biomechanical Phenomena, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Iodine, Mice, Models, Anatomic, Muscle Fibers, Skeletal/diagnostic imaging, Muscle, Skeletal/anatomy & histology, Sciuridae, Staining and Labeling, Sus scrofa, X-Ray Microtomography