Myoanatomy of the velvet worm leg revealed by laboratory-based nanofocus X-ray source tomography
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A new lab-based computed tomography (CT) technique enables scientists to produce high-resolution images of the surface and interior of samples without using a particle accelerator. The non-destructive technique will be useful for studying rare samples or other materials that might be damaged by extensive preparation.
A team led by researchers at the Technical University of Munich developed an X-ray source that produces a highly focused beam without using X-ray optics. They combined this with a low-noise, single-photon detector to create the new imaging device, called nano-CT.
With nano-CT, the interior and exterior of samples can be scanned to produce 3D data at a resolution of 100 nanometres. While existing techniques achieve a similar resolution, they require more sample preparation and can only image the surface or the interior of a sample, not both. Nano-CT images of the legs of velvet worms revealed unknown muscular features, demonstrating the technique’s value.
- PNAS 114, 12378-12383 (2017). doi: 10.1073/pnas.1710742114