Scientific Highlights

24 September 2021
Christian Schlepütz

X-ray microscopy with 1000 tomograms per second

Research Using Synchrotron Light Materials Research Future Technologies

A team at the Swiss Light Source SLS have set a new record using an imaging method called tomoscopy.

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3 September 2021
3D reconstruction of an entire adult mouse brain vasculature.

Hierarchical imaging and computational analysis of three-dimensional vascular network architecture in mouse brain

An international team involving researchers from the University and University Hospital Zürich, the Krembil Research Institute and the University and University Hospital in Toronto (Canada), the Department of Physics of Jyväskylä (Finland), the University of Leuven (Belgium), the Johannes Kepler University in Linz (Austria), the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Emeryville (USA), the ETH Zürich and the Paul Scherrer Institute has developed a protocol that enables hierarchical imaging and computational analysis of vascular networks in entire postnatal- and adult mouse brains, enabling direct and quantitative comparisons of the morphological brain vascular network architecture between different postnatal and / or adult developmental stages. The results have been published on Nature Protocols on September 3rd, 2021.

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2 June 2021
Understanding Why Solid-State Batteries Fail.

Understanding Why Solid-State Batteries Fail

Researchers from the University of Oxford, the Diamond Light Source and the Paul Scherrer Institut have generated strong evidence supporting one of two competing theories regarding the mechanism by which lithium metal dendrites grow through ceramic electrolytes. A process leading to short circuit at high rates of charge. The X-ray phase-contrast imaging capabilities of the TOMCAT beamline of the Swiss light source allowed researchers to visualize and characterize the growth of cracks and dendrites deep within an operating solid-state battery. The results were published in Nature Materials on April 22, 2021.

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6 May 2021
Virtual model of the jaw of a shark ancesto

Deep evolutionary origins of the human smile

Detailed characterization of the tooth and jaw structure and development among shark ancestors by synchrotron based X-ray tomographic microscopy at TOMCAT led an international team of researchers from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden and the University of Bristol to the discovery that while teeth evolved once, complex dentitions have been gained and lost many times in evolutionary history.

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18 August 2020
3D Printing silica aerogels.

3D printing silica aerogels at the micrometer scale

A group of EMPA and ETH Zürich researchers have developed a new method to directly write ink made of silica aerogels in 3D. Thanks to X-ray phase contrast tomography at the TOMCAT beamline they characterized the resulting printed material with different compositions. Their results were published in Nature on August 18, 2020.

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6 August 2020
Cover art of Small 16(33)

Phase contrast microtomography reveals nanoparticle accumulation in zebrafish

Metal-based nanoparticles are a promising tool in medicine – as a contrast agent, transporter of active substances, or to thermally kill tumor cells. Up to now, it has been hardly possible to study their distribution inside an organism. Researchers at the University of Basel in collaboration with the TOMCAT team have used phase contrast X-ray tomographic microscopy to take high-resolution captures of the nanoparticle aggregation inside zebrafish embryos.

The study was published in the journal Small and featured on the cover of its current issue.

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