High Resolution X-ray CT Services

High-resolution X-ray CT provides non-destructive three-dimensional mapping of density, enabling topology, structural visualization and quantitative analysis for a wide variety of samples, including live vertebrate and invertebrate animals, insects, plants, fossils, electronics and materials.  Consultation and full-service CT scans can be scheduled after an initial consultation (contact). 

Images (3D datasets)

High Resolution CT of an iPhone5        High Resolution CT of a midshipman fish



Our Xradia Zeiss VersaXRM-520 creates 3D datasets with a maximum resolution of 600 nm/voxel (smallest voxels = 150nm). Using proprietary interchangeable focusing optics allows users to locate and scan small sub-regions within a specimen as large as 30 cm in height and 30 cm in diameter. This feature is unique among micro-CT devices, which typically have strict limits on the physical size of a specimen. The focusing capability is particularly useful for examining specimens that are too rare or delicate to be sectioned destructively (fossilsmuseum specimensexotic materials). 4D/5D+ datasets can be created via repeated scanning of the same specimen (e.g. before/after treatments, temperature changes, pressure changes, etc).

This instrument is used to visualize and measure structues in plants, insects, seeds, fossils, electronic/fluidic devices, material constructs, soft or dense biological tissues, etc. For examples, biomechanics and materials science researchers use this instrument to characterize microscopic cracks within an intact specimen.

Our GE eXplore CT-120 system has the same non-invasive capabilities and is generally used for faster and lower radiation dose/lower resolution scans-- acquiring data with voxels ranging from 25um-100um and an 8cm bore diameter which can accommodate live animals, plants, fossils, etc. In this system the x-ray source and detector rotate around the bore so that the specimen can remain stationary. Oboard anesthesia and cardiac and respiratory gating are available for live animals. Appropriate specimen and studies include: live vertebrate and invertebrate animals (e.g. during/after a treatment, at various stages of developmental morphogenesis, etc), insects, plants, fossils, electronics, and materials.

Recent Press:
Selected Publications:
    Science, August 2013 (DOI:10.1126/science.1238159)
    Nature, April 2011  (doi:10.1038/nature10216)
    Human Molecular Genetics, May 2012  
    Biology Letters, June 2012
     Journal of Morphology (featured on Cover), June 2013
     Current Biology, June 2013
    Systematic Entomology, January 2015 
     Teresa Porri

Users who write papers/manuscipts are encouraged to help us by adding the following to the acknowledgement section:


For users of the ZEISS-Xradia Versa 520:

Imaging data was acquired through the Cornell University Biotechnology Resource Center, with NIH  1S10OD012287 funding for the ZEISS-Xradia Versa 520 X-ray Microscope.


For users of the GE CT-120:

Imaging data was acquired through the Cornell University Biotechnology Resource Center.


     B46 Weill Hall