Laboratory Services

The UC Davis Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory offers many services that can be utilized by collaborators from outside of our lab. Please contact Tanya Garcia-Nolen ( for questions about and scheduling of these services.

Mechanical Testing
Horse limb being loaded on MTS
Mechanical testing

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 $211/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.



Gait and locomotion analysis

To understand the effects of disease and injuries on animal movement. At our EAPL location, we have force pressure plates, a Tekscan pressure walkway, and a stance analyzer.

Image of rabbit femoral bone micro fractures
Microscope image of microfractures in rabbit femoral bone
Mineralized tissue processing

To create hard-tissue histologic slides, this service 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 $277 and $240/specimen (with and without production of a high-definition microradiograph, respectively), and graduate student rates are $179 and $121/specimen, respectively.





MicroCT image of mouse knee
MicroCT image of mouse knee
MicroCT specimen scanning

We maintain a ScanCo uCT 35, which is available on a recharge basis. The charge rate is $205 per scan/specimen. The cost covers xray tube usage (replacement costs) and machine maintenance, plus a small amount for technician’s time. We will run a pilot scan for free to find optimal settings. 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. There is an additional charge if our technician to provide the quantitative results ($41/hr).  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). 

radiograph image of rat
High-detailed radiograph of rat
High-detail Radiographs

We can analyze small bones or thin sections using a cabinet x-ray unit and mammography film. The cost is $13 per film, plus $41/hr for technician time to take radiograph/s and to digitize the radiograph/s. 

An X-ray Film Processor is available in the lab for use on a recharge basis for $13/specimen.



Multiple portable digital radiography units are available in the lab for use on a recharge basis for $20/shot.  There are two "small and large animal" systems (Mark III and NEXT, Sound-Eklin) with a MinXray 100HF portable generator) and one higher resolution system (38 micron resolution) for small specimens (Dentalaire DTX system with 1" x 2" sensor and Corix Pro70 mobile generator) .