Micro-Computed Tomography

Micro-Computed Tomography (Micro-CT)

Micro-CT is one of the most versatile non-invasive investigative techniques in the medical field, with applications spanning industry, archaeology, life science, geoscience, and crime investigations. It is able to image internal biological structures without sample preparation required for most electron microscope techniques.

Micro-CT works by illuminating an object with x-rays and collecting magnified projection images via a planar x-ray detector. The object is rotated to obtain multiple angular images which are stacked together to form a three-dimensional image. By using high-resolution, wide-dynamic-range CCD cameras, x-ray micro-CT is able to overcome the sub-millimeter critical limitation present with x-ray computed tomography (CT).

Human cortical bone showing Haversian and Volkmann’s canals. Voxel size = 4 um^3. image courtesy of Dr Tim Senden. ANU. Canberra Australia

Cameras for Micro-Computed Tomography

PIXIS XF photo


High spatial resolution is the most important factor for micro-CT. The PIXIS XF utilizes fibreoptic coupling to preserve the highest spatial resolution, imaging indirect x-rays in the <3 keV to >20 keV energy range.

The unique mechanical design allows for outstanding flexibility. Specialized, removable phosphor screens allow for optimization of the system, with the PIXIS XF coming with a choice of front- or back-illuminated CCDs for different experimental design.

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Micro-CT is a technique that produces high spatial information at sub-millimetre resolution. This requires high sensitivity and wide dynamic range.

To preserve sensitivity and spatial resolution, desktop micro-CT systems coupled with an optical lens often utilize cooled cameras designed with megapixel, high-quantum-efficiency CCDs. The PIXIS offers >95% quantum efficiency with broad wavelength coverage and reduced read noise. Equipped with deep cooling, the PIXIS also has ultra-low dark current over long exposure times, increasing image resolution.

As different samples require different parameters, the PIXIS offers front-illuminated, back-illuminated and back-illuminated deep-depletion models to ensure capturing of full range of information.

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Further Information

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