Mouse lung | Mus

mouse lung

In a new project we scan mouse lungs in which tumors were induced. The lung was critically-point-dried and scanned on a SkyScan 1272 with a source voltage of 50 kV, a source current of 200 µA with camera and geometry settings leading to an isotropic voxel size of 8 µm. The whole scan took about 53 minutes. The tumor is visible in the lower part of the left lung lobe and has a size of approximately 2 mm.

The data set was visualized in CTVox and exported to a set of images. We manually removed some cruft in the images and generated a movie as described before.

Zebrafish gills | Danio rerio

Zebrafish head, with its gills.

For a recent project (hopefully more to follow soon) we needed to visualize the head of a zebrafish with its gills inside. The image above shows a three-dimensional visualization of a tomographic scan of such a head, critically point dried. After drying, the head was scanned on a SkyScan 1172 with a source voltage of 50 kV, a source current of 167 µA with camera and geometry settings leading to an isotropic voxel size of 1.65 µm, the scan took several hours.

The left part of the head is rendered semi-transparently so that the (manually delineated) gills are nicely visible in red. The tip-to-tip distance of the gills (shown in red) is approximately 1.9 mm.

The data set was visualized in MeVisLab using its Monte Carlo Path Tracing framework.

Long-horned beetle | Cerambycidae

A beetle

For the so-called future day we had some kids visiting our lab. To show them what can be done with a microCT, we imaged a long-horned beetle (probably, I’m no Entomologist, the bug guide helped me with classifying at least the family). The beetle was killed in a light iodine solution and stored in 70 % alcohol for a while. We then super-glued it to a toothpick, and mounted it on our toothpick adapter for scanning (and showing it to the kids).

It was scanned on a SkyScan 1272 with a source voltage of 50 kV, a source current of 200 µA with camera and geometry settings leading to an isotropic voxel size of 10.8 µm, the scan took about 90 minutes.

Without the antennae, the beetle has a length of approximately 17 mm.

The data set was visualized in MeVisLab with the new MeVis Path Tracer feature.

Wasp | Vespidae

A wasp

A wasp died in our living room. We dried it and scanned it on a SkyScan 1272 with a source voltage of 50 kV, a source current of 200 µA with camera and geometry settings leading to an isotropic voxel size of 15 µm, the scan took about 18 minutes. The hind part of the body has an approximate width of 4 mm, the head is approximately 3 mm wide.

The data set was visualized in ImageVis3D and exported to a set of images while the wasp rotates. The movie shown above was made exactly like the one for the rat eye, namely saved to single images, converted to a movie with avconv and to an autoplaying gif file with a script.

3D printed sample holders

We recently presented a poster with a fun thing from our lab; Since we often scan samples that are to be kept in a humid environment and have vastly different sizes we printed ourselves some custom-made sample holders on our 3D printer.

The sample holders have been whipped up in OpenSCAD which is well suited to generate them in a relatively quick way.

Since we think that other people might be able to use them, we put a complete copy of all our sample holders up on GitHub. You can download the OpenSCAD files for your perusal (e.g. edit them for your needs) by cloning the repository at https://github.com/TomoGraphics/Hol3Drs. Or you can just grab a copy of the STL files to directly print them, after having looked at them in the 3D viewer over at GitHub.

Any contributors to the repository are very welcome, as specified directly in the repository (and based on the awesome initiative here).

A sampler of our 3D printed sample holders

If you’d like to see a copy of the poster we presented, you can find a 1.7 MB PDF here.