Vertebral Body Data Set ESA29-99-L3


Gisela Beller*, Markus Burkhart, Dieter Felsenberg*, Wolfgang Gowin, Hans-Christian Hege§, Bruno Koller, Steffen Prohaska§, Peter I. Saparin, Jesper S. Thomsen**

Center of Muscle and Bone Research, Charité University Medicine Berlin, (corresponding author at SCANCO)

§, (main corresponding author)
Zuse Institute Berlin
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Golm

Institute of Anatomy, University of Aarhus


The data set was acquired during the ESA-Project Bone 3D (MAP Project AO-99-030, ESTEC Contract #14592/00/NL/SH). It contains a micro-CT scan of human lumbar vertebral body L3. The project was made possible in part by grants from the Microgravity Application Program (Biotechnology) from the Human Spaceflight Program of the European Space Agency (ESA).

Imaging was performed using the Scanco μCT 80 scanner. The data is stored as 970 slices, each of size 2048 × 2048. The original grey values were scaled by 0.05 to fit into 8 bits. Each slice is stored in a PNG file. The origin of each slice is located at the top left corner of the image. The x-axis runs to the right, the y-axis to the bottom. In z-direction, slices are numbered starting from the top. Thus, the three axes form a right-handed coordinate system. The voxel size in each direction (in-slice pixel size and distance from slice to slice) is 37 μm.

The complete work consists of all files listed below.


The Bone 3D Project Group intents to facilitate scientific use of this data set. We encourage you to make the original data available with any data set based upon it, although we do not require this in our license. Instead, we only require that you cite the original data set and distribute work based upon our data set under the same license. You are explicitly encouraged to use our data to create new data sets—like extracting sub-volumes, converting the data to other formats, creating images or videos based on the data set, or extracting e.g. an iso-surface—and redistribute them under the same license. If you do so, you should consider sending us a short note about your work. Commercial use is not covered by the license. All this is expressed formally using the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License that is linked right below.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

You should refer to the original data set as

Gisela Beller, Markus Burkhart, Dieter Felsenberg, Wolfgang Gowin, Hans-Christian Hege, Bruno Koller, Steffen Prohaska, Peter I. Saparin and Jesper S. Thomsen: Vertebral Body Data Set ESA29-99-L3,

If you have limited space, we are also fine with

Bone 3D Project Team (ESA MAP Project AO-99-030, ESTEC Contract #14592/00/NL/SH): Vertebral Body Data Set ESA29-99-L3,

We might switch to a license more appropriate to data sets after the Science Commons Project published one.


Each slice is stored as a PNG image and 100 slices are bundled in a tar archive for download.

All downloads are PGP-signed by Steffen Prohaska (key 0xDA749299, fingerprint 8B59 83A8 A43D E0E2 DEDB D479 3157 2FEA DA74 9299). After downloading and importing the key or retreiving it from a keyserver you can verify an archive. Run

$ [gpg --import prohaska.pgp | gpg --search-keys 0xDA749299]
$ gpg --verify thearchive.tar.asc
gpg: Signature made ... using DSA key ID DA749299
gpg: Good signature from "Steffen Prohaska ..."

The following files are available.