Rendered X-ray tomograms of quarter bovine intervertebral discs stained with I2KI (a), PTA (b) and PMA (c). Soft tissues have low imaging contrast which is increased by using heavy metal stains. Scans where taken using a laboratory microCT system at the Manchester X-ray Imaging Facility (Research Complex at Harwell). This study was funded by the EPSRC & MRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Regenerative Medicine (EP/L014904/1). From the work of Ms Catherine Disney (supervisors Prof Peter Lee, Prof Judith Hoyland and Dr Michael Sherratt) at The University of Manchester.