X-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT)
X-ray micro-CT is a non-destructive imaging technique that produces 3D data sets from a range of samples types. It is an extension of a 2D radiograph (similar to having an X-ray taken of a broken bone), where the sample is imaged from multiple angles to ultimately produce a 3D reconstruction.
X-ray imaging is useful for a host of applications in the biological, geological and materials sciences. X-ray micro-CT instruments are often tailored for specific imaging needs (such as high-resolution or live animal imaging). In most cases, minimal sample preparation is required.
The CMCA has two X-ray imaging systems:
Zeiss Versa 520 X-ray microscope (XRM)
The Versa 520 is designed for imaging a broad range of sample types from the geo, life and material sciences. Samples typically need to be 5cm or smaller and the system can achieve sub-micron resolution (700 nm minimum). Unlike a more conventional medical scanner, the XRM uses specialised optics to achieve this higher resolution. It cannot be used for imaging live animals.
Skyscan 1176 live animal imaging micro-CT
The Skyscan 1176 system is a live animal X-ray microtomography optimised system that enables high-resolution (9 µm minimum) 3D imaging of anaesthetised mice or rats using low X-ray doses.
The system is able to provide morphological detail of tissues including bone, muscle and fat while contrast agents can be used to produce 3D imaging of blood vessels, lymphatics and gastrointestinal spaces. While optimised for live animal imaging, the system can be used for a range of other applications, including ex vivo imaging of samples too large for the Versa 520.