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. Key features include:

  • 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.

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.

Training for the DEXA is available to users on a user by user basis.  If you are interested in using our DEXA system please contact us at or call 919-966-2855.  Staff-supported imaging study is also available with additional staff support fee.


  1. Nagy TR, Clair AL Precision and Accuracy of Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry for Determining in Vivo Body Composition of Mice Obesity Research 2000; Vol. 8 No. 5: 392-398