Micro CT Imaging Laboratory
The system can nondestructively visualize up to 209 Megapixel (14450x14450 pixels) virtual slices through objects, more than 2600 such slices after a single scan using newly developed 16Mp and 11Mp X-ray detectors in up to three offset positions. Due to phase-contrast enhancement, object details as small as 0.4µm can be detected. The innovative flexible acquisition geometry of the SkyScan 1272 scanner is particularly advantageous over intermediate resolution levels, where scans are several times faster (to obtain the same or better image quality) compared to micro-CT systems with a fixed source-detector design.
For any sample, which may be up to 75mm in diameter, the system can automatically optimize x-ray energy and energy filtering using a new maintenance-free X-ray source and automatic 6-position filter changer. Large format imaging has been supported by the world's fastest hierarchical (InstaRecon®) and multithreaded GPU-accelerated 3D-reconstruction and realistic visualization by surface and volume rendering. The system includes a built-in precision micro-positioning stage and can scan samples during compression, tension, cooling or heating. An optional 16-position automatic sample changer allows the adding, removing, and replacing of samples without interrupting a live scanning process. Automatic magnification adjustment and scanning protocol optimization is available for individual samples. At the end of the scan the system can send you an e-mail with a direct link to the scanning results that may be opened across a network.
Reconstruction results can be sent to iPad, iPhone, and Android mobile devices. Special software for mobile platforms performs volume rendering and virtual cuts of objects with touch screen gesture controls. The full range of the software for 2D/ 3D quantitative analysis and for realistic 3D visualization is also supplied with the scanner.
A supplied advanced workstation contains two Intel-XEON eight core processors, 128GB memory, 12TB disk space, and two 24" UltraSharp LCD monitors.
• Up to 200 Megapixel (14450 x 14450 pixels) in every virtual slice through objects
• More than 2600 such slices can be reconstructed after a single scan.
• Due to phase-contrast enhancement, object details down to 0.4um can be detected.
• 20-100kV maintenance-free polychromatic X-ray source, 6-position automatic filter changer
• Maximum scanning diameter - 75mm, integrated micropositioning stage
• 2D/3D image analysis, surface and volume rendering
• At the end of the scan the system can send an e-mail with a link to the results.
• The results can be exported to iPhone, iPad, or Android mobiles for 3D rendering by free available software.
• Bone and dental tissue
• Soft tissue samples
• Composites, foam, fibers
• Electronic components and assemblies
• Geology, oil and gas exploration
• Wood, paper and seeds
Policies and procedures
Micro-Imaging Lab is a multi-user facility that provides services to LLU faculty, staff, and students as well as to external users.
Instrumentation use and all services provided by MicroCT Lab are subject to recharge fees.
1. Access to MicroCT Lab is granted by the Laboratory Director.
2. Users can utilize MicroCT Lab services only after approved through the online form system and with IRB or IACUC approval.
3. Facility staff provide services and assistance to users. Users may request facility staff expertise for operation of instruments, sample preparation, data acquisition, and interpretation. Users are not allowed to operate the scanners directly.
4. LLU users are required to provide an invoice account authorized by the titular personal investigator (PI) before services are rendered.
5. To gain access to MicroCT Lab services, external users must provide billing street address, contact phone, and fax numbers as well as a statement of acceptance of financial responsibility for the requested services based on the estimates provided by MicroCT Lab staff. Advanced payment may be requested under certain circumstances.
Scheduling and Reservation
1. All services and instruments are accessible by advanced appointment only, on a first-come-first-serve basis.
2. Appointments are made by contacting the facility manager.
Consulting for Custom Applications
In case the application is novel, or the user does not know the appropriate settings for the scan, we offer consulting on a per hour basis ($100). Consultation with the Laboratory Director (Dr. Viecilli) or staff constitutes an intellectual contribution to the work and must be credited in publications at the discretion of the facility director, as agreed in the consulting form. After the project is conceived, continuous assistance can be provided through the project up to publication at no charge.
Usage Priority is defined as follows:
1. NIH/Militar sponsored research project LLUSD
2. NIH/Militar sponsored research project rest of LLU
3. Externally funded research project LLUSD
4. Internally funded research project LLUSD or Externally funded to LLU
5. Internally funded research project rest of LLU
6. Departmental credits LLUSD
7. Courtesy scans for rest of LLU
Although the laboratory can offer courtesy trial scans, this will be done at the discretion of the Laboratory Director and has to be IRB / IACUC approval associated. The equipment will often be fully booked for months, so it is unlikely these will be granted on a regular basis.
Cancelation of appointments less than 24 hours before the starting time is subject to a penalty fee equivalent to 2 hours per day of the specific service rate.
1. Electronic user files and data stored on MicroCT Lab computers are kept for a period of 30 days from the date of creation. Two emails will be sent to investigators to warn about data deletion during this period. After the expiration of this 30-day, period all user files and data will be deleted and no refund will be provided.
2. Users must provide an external hard drive (generic USB Hub, USB 3.0, USB Root Hub) before data deletion. When the hard drive is received, please verify the content; because all user files will be deleted.
1. Any problems, malfunction, damage, or substandard instrument performance should be reported immediately to the facility staff.
2. Users may be suspended and charged for damages caused by unauthorized attempted service, negligence, or mishandling of instruments.
1. A campus approved user fee structure is used to charge for all services.
2. A penalty fee of $80 per incident may be charged for violations of any lab rules, plus the cost of repair/replacement of any damaged part/system. This penalty fee is in addition to the cancellation fee.
1. An invoice will be provided after services have been rendered, except in cases in which advanced payment is specifically requested.
2. Payments must be made in US dollars and will be processed by the Micro-Imaging Lab business office.
Fees (consulting, scanning, learning, and analysis)
• LLU - $100/hr
• Non-LLU - $150/hr
• Private Industry - $250/hr
a. Learning Center - Training for software usage can be provided with the same fee schedule as above ($100/hr).
Software for Analysis
Software for Analysis
Control Software for SKYSCAn 1272: The control program acquires images from the X-ray camera and controls all positioning and X-ray sources in the scanner. It can save separate X-ray images or a complete acquired set of angular projections for following tomographical reconstruction.
Nrecon Software: SkyScan NRecon package is used to reconstruct cross-section images from tomography projection images, primarily the cone-beam X-ray projections. The reconstruction software package consists of 2 programs: the user interface program (NRecon) and a reconstruction engine - either a CPU version NReconServer or a GPU version GPUReconServer.
DataViewer Software: The reconstructed set of slices can be viewed flexibly in SkyScan's "Data Viewer" program. Images are displayed as a slice-by-slice movie or as three orthogonal sections centered at any selected point inside the reconstructed space. Data Viewer also has a viewing mode with three intersecting orthogonal sections that can be turned - and each intersecting slice moved independently - by simple mouse control.
CTVox Software: The volume rendering program “CTvox” displays a set of reconstructed slices as a realistic 3D object with intuitive navigation and manipulation of both object and camera, a flexible clipping tool to produce cut-away views, background selection (including custom scenery), and an interactive transfer function control to adjust colors and transparency. A "flight recorder" function allows fast creation of "fly around" and "fly through" animations based on the selection of several key frames with automatic interpolation in between. Imaging possibilities include lighting, shadows, and stereo viewing.
CTAn Software: SkyScan "CT-analyser" analyses micro-CT datasets for morphometry and densitometry. It is an intuitive and comprehensive environment for processing and analysis of datasets that accurately generates the quantitative data that is the final objective of micro-CT scanning and analysis.
Note: This software can be used anywhere inside LLU domain.