3D X-ray Microscopy: A New High Resolution Tomographic Technology for Biological Specimens

A new field of 3D X-ray Microscopy (XRM) has emerged bringing dramatic resolution and contrast improvements to X-ray tomographic imaging of biological specimens for correlative studies and hierarchical structure investigations of hard and soft tissue. An X-ray microscope uses an X-ray source rather than a visible light source to view the internal structure of opaque specimens. Analogous to computed tomography (CT) a specimen can be imaged without physical sectioning and a complete 3D view of the object is generated. Yet X-ray microscopes provide superior spatial resolution down to the nanoscale and tunable phase contrast to image nature’s vast diversity from cells to entire organisms ex vivo up to tens of centimetres in size.