Public Release: 

High-resolution X-ray CT imaging

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Researchers report a technique for high-resolution biological imaging using X-ray computed tomography (CT). X-ray CT allows noninvasive 3D reconstruction of the external and internal structures of a sample, but conventional laboratory-based CT equipment is limited to resolutions on the order of micrometers. Mark Müller and colleagues developed a laboratory CT system that could achieve approximately 100 nm resolution without the need for X-ray optics or synchrotron radiation. The authors used this system, called nanoCT, to image the limb of the velvet worm Euperipatoides rowelli, and compared the results to images obtained by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The quality of reconstructions from the nanoCT data was comparable to that of SEM images, revealing such details as feet, claws, and fine sensorial bristles. However, the nanoCT data also yielded images of the internal muscular structure at higher resolution than CLSM images, revealed previously unknown details of the leg and foot musculature, and facilitated the 3D reconstruction of individual muscle fibers. The technique could boost the study of nanoscale biological structures, according to the authors.

Article #17-10742: "Myoanatomy of the velvet worm leg revealed by laboratory-based nanofocus X-ray source tomography," by Mark Müller et al.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark Müller, Technical University of Munich, GERMANY; tel: +49-8928910883, +49-1791112275; e-mail: <mark.mueller@ph.tum.de>

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