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Lunar PIXImus DEXA

The dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, so called DEXA system (Lunar PIXImus, GE Lunar Corp.) in the facility is a desktop portable x-ray scanner that is best for measurement of bone mineral density and body tissue composition on mouse models. DEXA image

The usage of DEXA will eliminate the need for destructive chemical analysis – a traditional process for body composition measurement that requires days or weeks to complete. DEXA densitometry allows the researcher to conduct longitudinal, high-throughput measurements over the life time of animals for a cost-efficient study.  One downside of the system is its low spatial resolution (0.18 x0.18 mm pixel size). If you want information on high resolution bone structure information, please go to our CT imaging modality webpage for more information.

Main Imaging Features

  • Entire mouse imaging. With an image area of 80 mm x 65 mm, the PIXImus can image the entire body of most mice and the subcranial region of large obob mice (10-50 g), and portions of rat body for local regional analysis (e.g., spine, leg, or abdominal regions).
  • Accurate measurements. The PIXImus provides accurate measurement of bone and tissue for small animals 10-50 g (e.g., mice, lemmings). Measurements on bone, fat and lean tissue exhibit excellent correlation to total their ashed or chemical extraction weights (r=0.99, 0.93, 0.99 respectively) [1].
  • Fast imaging time. It provides bone mineral and body composition results from total body imaging in less than 5 minutes.
  • Live animal imaging. Mouse is anesthetized by isoflurane gas mixture Low radiation exposure.
  • User-friendly interface. It is easy to operate and only one button for imaging acquisition.


The SAI offers on our DEXA system so that users can conduct their imaging themselves within our facility.  Please click on this link to learn more.  Staff supported imaging is also available with additional fees.  Please contact us at or call us at 919-966-2855 with any questions about your DEXA study.


DEXA imaging can be scheduled after training by SAI staff through iLab.  Please follow the instructions at the Schedule a Study link for more details or contact us at with questions.