A method for accurate three-dimensional reconstruction of openly connected porous structures is described. The method is based on embedding of a specimen in a contrast coloured epoxy resin and serial sectioning in a standard hard tissue microtome. A PC-based image processing system is used for direct digitization of the cut surface, and by thresholding two-phase images are obtained. The process is fully automated, and about 170 sections can be produced, digitized, dichotomized, and stored per hour. As an example of its applications, the method is used on trabecular bone, which is an anisotropic porous structure.
Keywords: Cancellous bone; open-celled porous structures; serial sectioning; structure; three-dimensional reconstruction; topology; trabecular bone