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Andronowski Skeletal Collection for Histological Research

The Andronowski Skeletal Collection for Histological Research (ASCHR) was initiated in 2017 to provide a resource for the study of skeletal microarchitectural variability with advancing age and between the sexes. Bone procurement has focused on two sites commonly used in histological age-at-death estimation: the mid-shaft sixth rib and anterior femoral mid-shaft. Our primary objective is to use this unique skeletal archive for histological and imaging research, with the goal of furthering knowledge of human bone biology.
Modern human skeletal elements were collected from local medical schools with full consent from the donor themselves or their next-of-kin and in accordance with Medical Research guidelines. Demographic information, including age, sex, primary and secondary cause of death, are known for each individual. ASCHR currently boasts skeletal elements from over 700 individuals, including the left femur, sixth rib, and various cranial bones. Specimens in the collection have been procured from donors ranging from 15 to 105 years-of-age at death with a roughly equal sex distribution.

Certain ASCHR specimens have been imaged using various high-resolution imaging modalities including Synchrotron Radiation-based micro-Computed Tomography (SRµCT), laboratory micro-Computed Tomography (µCT), Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy, and fluorescence and brightfield light microscopy totaling over 23 terabytes of data.



SRµCT 3D renders of anterior femoral mid-shaft data sets from females aged 21 (left) and 88 (right). Osteocyte lacunae (gold) and vascular canals/resorptive areas are visualized (red). Note the decreased osteocyte lacunar density and increased porosity in the elderly female specimen. Image credit: Dr. Janna M. Andronowski.

ASCHR is open for use by biomedical and anthropological researchers. With inquiries relating to collection access or existing imaging data sets, please contact Dr. Janna M. Andronowski and complete a Research Request Form. Each request will be considered based on scientific merit and the proposed broader impacts. Click the button below to download the request form:


The Andronowski Lab wishes to thank the donors and their families for their selfless gifts that continue to advance science. We further thank our medical school partners, including the College of Medicine and Life Sciences at The University of Toledo, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Cleveland State University, Northeast Ohio Medical University, and Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine.

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