Scientific Highlights

24 septembre 2021
Christian Schlepütz

X-ray microscopy with 1000 tomograms per second

Research Using Synchrotron Light Materials Research Matter and Material

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

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3 septembre 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 juin 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 mai 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 août 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 août 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 juillet 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 mars 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 novembre 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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