Musculoskeletal Physiology Service Center

Overview of Services

The Musculoskeletal Physiology Service Center provides comprehensive outcome measures to assess bone and muscle structure, function, and physiology in preclinical models and is available to all UMB researchers and extramural users on a fee-for-service basis. The service center also offers training and assistance in the holistic assessment of in vivo and ex vivo musculoskeletal phenotypes.


Christopher W. Ward, PhD
Professor, Department of Orthopaedics 

Joseph P. Stains, PhD
Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, Division Head of Musculoskeletal Science

Joella Trenchard

Location and hours of operation

Hours Location


Bressler Research Building, 4th Floor, Room 4-038 


Name Role Phone Email Location
Chris Ward, PhD

Joseph Stains, PhD

Joella Trenchard


Service list

Search available services:
Name Description Price
Bone Loading

Application of axial load to bones (current configurations for ulna and tibial loading) to stimulate new bone formation in anesthetized mice. Instrument: Bose electroforce 3200    

Time per bone, 20 mins per limb.  (consumables)

ECG Tunnel

The EMKA ECG Tunnel enables electrocardiogram assessment in the awake, but restrained, mouse.

30 minutes, 2 mice

Gait Analysis (DigiGait)

Quantify the gait kinematics as a measure of neuromuscular function in rodents. The DigiGait Gait Analysis System (Mouse Specifics, Inc.; Quincy, MA performs ventral plane videography of mice walking on a transparent treadmill belt. A high-speed, high-resolution digital video camera continuously images the underside of the walking mouse. Software generates digital paw prints and dynamic gait signals, providing a temporal record of paw placement. More than 20 gait indices are reported from the analyses that are related to specific functional gains or losses. 

(Hour and a half per 10 mice, includes analysis).

Grip Strength

An indirect measure of the gross neuromuscular performance of the mouse forelimbs.  Effective at identifying dysfunction murine models of motor neuron and muscle disease.

1 min per mouse (minimum charge of half hour - 15 mouse)

Inverted Grid

 An indirect measure of gross neuromuscular performance of the mouse. Effective at identifying dysfunction murine models of motor neuron and muscle disease.

 5 mins per mouse (half hour minimum, 6 mice maximum)

Mechnical Property Testing

(1) Investigation of rodent long-bone functional properties by four point bending, including whole-bone structural properties (femoral bending stiffness, maximum moment and failure moment) and bone tissue "material" properties (elastic modulus, yield strength, ultimate strength). (2) Investigation of biomechanical properties of materials under a variety of loading configurations in the axial plane, including custom testing fixtures and testing protocols.  Instrument: Bose electroforce 3200  

Per bone, 30 mins, 2 bones per hour (minimum 30 minutes)

Microcomputed Tomography

Ex vivo quantification of rodent bone trabecular and cortical microarchitecture/morphology and bone tissue mineralization. Additionally,  scanning of soft tissues such as heart and cartilage can be done upon special sample preparation and staining with contrast agents. Instrument: Skyscan 1172 microCT.

Per hour. (4 hour increments per use)




30 minutes, 5 mice minimum

Static and Dynamic Histomorphometry

Analysis software for the quantitation of static and dynamic bone histomorphometry, including osteoblast number, osteoclast number, bone formation rates, mineralizing surface, and mineral apposition rate.

Per bone


Quantify forced exercise capacity on a motorized treadmill. Most rats and mice are amenable to this test with proper acclimation to the treadmill. We use a 6 lane rodent treadmill (Columbus Instruments).

per hour, up to 6 mice