Loss of bone mineral content leads to a variety of significant medical problems including osteoporosis. Development of new treatments for metabolic bone disease as well as evaluation of the efficacy of current treatments is severely hampered by the lack of a reliable tool for quickly measuring changes in bone mineral balance (BMB). Methods to sensitively measure BMB could tremendously benefit research and clinical practice in the study and treatment of bone disease.
Researchers at Arizona State University have developed a novel technique that utilizes tracer-less calcium isotopes to measure net bone mineral balance. This technique analyzes changes in the natural isotope composition of calcium in blood and urine resulting from the balance of bone formation vs. resorption. Utilizing mass spectrometry, changes in bone mineral balance may be revealed with unprecedented speed and detail. Measurement of a complimentary strontium isotope biomarker provides, with equal rapidity, information on the speed of exchange of calcium between soft tissue and mineralized compartments.
Ca isotope analysis provides a powerful means to monitor bone loss and therapeutic efficacy of treatments. Moreover, it may allow for new and quicker diagnoses of metabolic bone diseases in a safe and rapid manner.
- Bone mineral balance research
- Early detection of bone disease
- Assessment of effectiveness of current treatments
- Accelerate the pace of discovery of new treatments for metabolic bone disease
Benefits and Advantages
- Early detection – long before bone damage occurs
- Rapid results
- High level of detail
- Safe – only uses blood or urine