Mineralized Tissue

Mineralized Tissue

Mineralized tissues inspire functionality and adaptability, while providing natural structure and protection. Mineralized tissue represents the structural building blocks of life present and preserved fossilized structures of life past. Understanding the complex biological processes that support life requires understanding of the complex structural network that it supports. Visualization of the fine complex internal 3D structure made by Nature helps understand these biological processes or inspire development of biomimetic bioengineered materials. ZEISS X-ray microscopy (XRM) provides non-destructive high resolution and high contrast tomography to reveal a wealth of complex microstructural information in three dimensions. For example, bone consists of complex hierarchical structures at a variety of different length scales. ZEISS multi-length scale imaging solutions enable bone investigations from the sub-millimeter trabecular level down to the nanometer canalicular level, providing unprecedented in-laboratory access to the 3D structures of inter-lacunar networks.

Characterization and Analysis

  • Visualize micro-damage in cancellous bone to understand vertebral fractures due to osteoporosis
  • Image sub-surface indentation sites to visualize crack formation and propagation
  • Study the effects of freeze–thaw structure–property relations of trabecular bone measuring the porosity, apparent density, mineral content, trabecular orientation, trabecular thickness, fractal dimension, surface area, and connectivity
  • Use in situ compression cell while imaging soft-hard tissue interfaces in 3D such as cementum-periodontal ligament-bone to characterize the biomechanical response of the bone-tooth complex
  • Virtually dissect fossilized flowers and other organs to determine species morphological characters
  • Characterize skeletal ontogeny of corals to understand evolutionary history
  • Perform of interior tomography cuttlefish chambered shell to design biomimetic buoyancy devices to perform under hydrostatic pressure
  • Correlate time-dependent occlusion of dentin tubules via 4D nanoscale XRM, followed by crystallographic determination of the biofilm phases present via electron microscopy.
  • Elucidate details of tooth histology beyond surface morphology for valuable and unique Lower Triassic specimens



ZEISS Xradia 520 Versa

High resolution, non-destructive 3D X-ray microscope with spatial resolution <700 nm (70 nm minimum voxel size), and resolution at a distance, with absorption and phase contrast enabled by a unique dual magnification system



ZEISS Xradia 810 Ultra

ZEISS Xradia 810 Ultra
with Zernike phase contrast to visualize hierarchical structures at the nanoscale X-ray Imaging:
Spatial resolution <50 nm (16 nm minimum voxel size) to support advanced semiconductor device research and development


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bone, bone disease, osteoporosis, murine, rat, human, femur, trabecular bone, trabeculae, osteocyte lacunar canaliculi, lacunae, cell, canalicular network, cracks, microcracks, menopause, post-menopausal, bone matrix, biomechanics