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    Micro computed tomography is a method for 3D X-Ray imaging capable of extremely high resolution (from 0.45um ex-vivo to 4um in-vivo) and details whether in-vivo or ex-vivo.

    2D X-ray images are taken at small at hundreds to thousands of angles which are later reconstructed to a 3D model within the computer.

    For in-vivo applications, micro-CT is used for whole-body anatomy imaging, high-resolution bone structure analysis, and lung imaging.  By injecting a contrast agent (either GNP or iodine-based) it is possible to acquire extraordinary images of the blood vessels and the cardiovascular system.

    For Ex-vivo and material sciences, it is possible to image objects at extreme resolution for structure composition and porosity analysis. From non-destructive analysis of semiconductors, electronics, 3D printed objects, and more.

    What is micro-CT scanning?

    Micro-CT (also known as microtomography or micro computed tomography) is basically using X-rays to see inside an object, creating a 3D image of it, slice by slice. It is similar to hospital CT or “CAT” scan imaging – just on a small scale with massively increased resolution. Objects up to 200 millimeters in diameter, utilizing pixels as small as 100 nanometer can be imaged.

    With 2D X-ray systems you can see through an object, but 3D micro- CT systems empower researchers to see inside the objects and reveal their internal features. It gives us volumetric information about the microstructure – in a non-destructive manner.

    So How does micro-CT scanning work?

    A X-ray source emits X-rays. These pass through the sample, and when they emerge they are recorded by the X-ray detector as a 2D projection image. The rotational stage then rotates the sample a fraction of a degree, for another X-ray projection image to be harvested. This is repeated through a 180-degree turn (or 360 degrees, depending the type of sample). Computerized reconstruction is then used to order this series of X-ray projection images into cross-sections –  slices can be analyzed, assembled into 3D models, made into movies, printed into 3D physical objects, and so forth.

    What are micro-CT’s biomedical applications?

    In biomedicine, microCT is primarily used to evaluate bone structure and quality. It is a valuable research tool in the study of bone diseases, evaluation of preclinical models of disease, and testing the efficacy of anti-resorptive and anabolic therapeutics. For example, microCT is increasingly used to assess bone fragility deriving from gaining, excessive loads and disease.  To this end, contrast agents are used to detect and quantify bone microdamage.

    To learn more of the potential of this exciting technique and explore budget appropriate solutions to your research requirements contact Merkel today!