Scientific Highlights

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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23 July 2020
3D rendering of an anti-tube

Miniaturized fluidic circuitry observed in 3D

The team of Prof. Thomas Hermans at the University of Strasbourg in France managed to create wall-less aqueous liquid channels called anti-tubes. Thanks to X-ray phase contrast tomography at the TOMCAT beamline those anti-tubes could be observed in 3D. The exciting results were published in Nature on May 6, 2020.

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23 March 2020
High-resolution tomographic cross-section of a fresh juvenile rat lung

X-ray Imaging for Biomedicine: Imaging Large Volumes of Fresh Tissue at High Resolution

The TOMCAT beamline at the Swiss Light Source specializes in rapid high-resolution 3-dimensional tomographic microscopy measurements with a strong focus on biomedical imaging. The team has recently developed a technique to acquire micrometer-scale resolution datasets on the entire lung structure of a juvenile rat in its fresh natural state within the animal’s body and without the need for any fixation, staining or other alteration that would affect the observed structure (E. Borisova et al., 2020, Histochem Cell Biol).

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27 November 2019
Embryology of 609 million-year old Caveasphaera. These are computer models based on X-ray tomographic microscopy of the fossils, showing the successive stages of development.

Animal embryos evolved before animals

Detailed characterization of cellular structure and development of exceptionally preserved ancient tiny fossils from South China by synchrotron based X-ray tomographic microscopy at TOMCAT led an international team of researchers from the University of Bristol and Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology to the discovery that animal-like embryos evolved long before the first animals appear in the fossil record.

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12 November 2019
Teaser Roentgenkleinwinkelstreuung

A fast and precise look into fibre-reinforced composites

Media Releases Matter and Material Research Using Synchrotron Light

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have developed a new process with which fibre-reinforced composite materials can be precisely X-rayed. This could help to develop better materials with novel properties.

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22 August 2019
Sample rotation stage for high-speed tomography

World record in time-resolved tomography

Researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the TOMCAT beamline have achieved a new world record in time-resolved tomography by measuring over 200 tomographies per second during heating of an evolving aluminium metal foam.

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1 February 2019

Virtual lens improves X-ray microscopy

Media Releases Matter and Material Research Using Synchrotron Light

A method developed by PSI researchers makes X-ray images of materials even better. The researchers took a number of individual images while moving an optical lens. From these, with the help of computer algorithms, they generated one overall image.

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5 December 2018

Soft-tissue evidence for homeothermy and crypsis in a Jurassic ichthyosaur

Synchrotron-based X-ray tomographic microscopy of melanophores (skin pigment cells) of an amazingly well preserved 180 million years old ichtyosaur (extinct marine reptile similar to whales) contributed in a multidisciplinary investigation to the new findings published today in Nature.

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