High-resolution imaging of craniofacial sutures: new tools for understanding the origins of craniosynostoses

R. H. Khonsari, F. Di Rocco, E. Arnaud, S. Sanchez, P. Tafforeau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The developmental genetics and the biomechanics of sutures are well-studied topics, while their microanatomy is still imperfectly known. Here, we aim to investigate the structure of skull vault sutures using a high-resolution imaging device.

We used synchrotron X-ray microtomography in order to obtain high-resolution images of skull vault sutures from an extant mammal (the mouse Mus musculus) and from an extinct fish (the placoderm Compagopiscis croucheri). We used segmentation and 3D reconstruction softwares in order to reveal the microanatomy of sutures in these species.

The high-resolution images allowed us to study the distribution of osteocytes, the organisation of vascular canals, the shapes of the suture borders, the insertion of Sharpey's fibres, the bone growth lines and the structure of the soft tissues surrounding the sutures.

Synchrotron imaging provides new perspectives for the study of the normal microanatomy of sutures. The submicronic resolution of the synchrotron scans gives access to the 3D organisation of structures that were previously only known in 2D, even in normal sutures. The description of anatomical entities such as vascular canals and Sharpey's fibres in abnormally fused sutures would be of interest in the understanding of craniosynostoses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1465-1469
Number of pages5
JournalChilds Nervous System
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


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