Structure and Strength Core


Matt Silva
(314) 362-8585

Associate Directors

Simon Tang
(314) 286-2664

Gretchen Meyer
(314) 286-1425

Research Administator

Tonia Thompson
(314) 747-2532

Administrative Coordinator

Orthopaedic Surgery
Kamilla McGhee
P. (314) 747-5993
F. (314) 454-5900


MRC Core B Spring 2019 announcements

  1. Please join us in welcoming Yung Kim. We have hired Yung as our new imaging facility manager. Yung has experience scanning on MicroCT machines and also running an equivalent microscope core. If you need to reach him to talk about imaging your samples, please contact him at
  2. We have an official IACUC protocol now. Starting this spring we will be asking people to use that protocol for live animal collaborative work done with our core. This is in keeping with a new push from the IACUC office to have a better system in place for cores like ours. Please contact us for more information on IACUC requirements.
  3. Regarding billing for the MicroCTs in the core we are billing for the time your specimen is in the machine and no one else is able to use that machine. If you find your scan times are shorter than you reserved, please contact us and we will work with you to reduce your billed time, but also to better estimate scan time for your future reservations. This will help everyone scan more efficiently.
  4. Last- we have recently had problems with a few of our ScanCo computers running rather slow. We have been able to determine this is related to concurrent analyses on the machines by a local user and also a remote user. In the future if there are speed issues we will come to any remote access user and ask them to refrain from remote access until the local user is done with their reserved session. We might also kill any remote analysis that is clogging up the computer. Please remember that you can always reserve your own session to analyze locally, and the fee is very minimal.

Measures of structure and strength are essential when assessing functional outcomes in animal models related to musculoskeletal biology and medicine. In 2008, evaluation of these outcomes at Washington University in Saint Louis (WUSTL) was limited to few investigators because we lacked centralized resources and organization. Evaluating these outcomes requires specialized equipment and expertise, which is impractical and inefficient to recreate in multiple labs. In response to this unmet need, we established the Musculoskeletal Structure and Strength Core. This multifaceted resource supports our Research Community in understanding and implementing techniques to evaluate structure and mechanical properties of musculoskeletal tissues (bone, cartilage, disc, muscle, tendon) derived from animal models. The Structure and Strength core has five objectives: A) support access and cost-effective utilization of existing resources for imaging and mechanical testing; B) support rigorous approaches leading to publication quality data with broad impact; C) provide training and enrichment opportunities (in concert with the T32 Skeletal Disorders Training Program); D) enhance and extend Core capabilities through development of new techniques; and E) foster new interactions and enhance existing interactions between members of the musculoskeletal Research Community at WUSTL.

  • Aim 1 – Imaging
  • Aim 2 – Mechanical Testing



Radiography. Digital Radiography System, Faxitron Model UltraFocus100 (Location: BJCIH 11506; Contact: Yung Kim,

Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA): Faxitron Model UltraFocus100  (Location: BJCIH 11506; Contact: Yung Kim,

MicroCT – post mortem: Scanco uCT40 (Location: BJCIH 11506; Contact: Yung Kim,

MicroCT – in vivo: Scanco VivaCT40 (Location: BJCIH 11506; Contact: Yung Kim,

X-ray Microscope: Zeiss Xradia Versa520 High Resolution/NanoCT (Location: Couch Bldg., WU Center for Cellular Imaging (WUCCI); Contact: James Fitzpatrick,

Mechanical Testing: Instron 8841 (200 lb, servohydraulic), Instron 5866 (2000 lb, electromechanical), Instron ElectroPuls E1000 (1000 N, electromechanical); Qualysis Oqus sytem for motion capture; Location: BJCIH 11518; Contact: Matt Silva,; Michael Brodt,

Muscle Physiology: For in vitro and in vivo testing of muscles in mice, please contact Dr. Gretchen Meyer ( 314-286-1425;



Citing the grant in publications:

“Washington University Musculoskeletal Research Center (NIH P30 AR074992)”