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Life sciences, geology, paleontology... X-ray CT solutions for scientific research

by Morgane on 20 Jan 2022 at 09h33
X-ray Computed Tomography is a powerful technology to inspect and control even the most complex parts and materials in a non-destructive way. The main goal is to generate data and characterize the internal components as well as the complete reconstruction of 3D models. Many fields of academic research such as life sciences, paleontology, geology…, use X-ray CT for their scientific projects.

X-ray CT contributes to academic research and science

With the expansion of new research methods and the ongoing demand to analyze samples in 3D, various fields of academic research are carrying out their projects with X-ray Computed Tomography.
In the fields of academic research and science, X-ray CT is suitable for a broad range of applications, including the digitization of animal skulls, the characterization of ceramics, and the study of organic substances. On top of that, X-ray CT offers the ability to characterize samples down to the micrometric and nanometric scales, which is a performance required in most academic & research applications.
As versatility and flexibility of a CT system is the main need for academic research & science applications, we offer readily customized CT systems with various possibilities of configurations.

3D rendering of a snake by The Royal Belgium Institute of Natural Sciences

Whether it is for an overall visualization, or in regions of interest, here are some examples of CT applications in life sciences:
-   Geology: the study of Earth’s materials, structures, and processes evolution over time. The main applications of X-ray CT for geology experiments are segmentation of different minerals, rock deformation, analysis and pore networks modeling, simulation of fluids flows…
-   Life sciences: the study of life such as microorganisms, plants, and animals. Here, the main CT applications are biomedical investigations, animals, and various plants.
-   Material science: the study of materials structure, properties, and how they are made. Applications can be composite sample segmentation, fibers analyses, powder characterization…
-   Paleontology: the study of fossils, ancient pieces, digitization of Museum collections…

Focus on in-situ tomography for the scientific research

3D characterization of a sample in real-time to observe its evolution is now possible and accessible to many academic research and science fields. In terms of image resolution and acquisition & reconstruction time, X-ray computed tomography has come a long way in recent years. The different evolutions have allowed for a variety of in situ research to be conducted, whether it is on longer timelines of short durations experiments.
Whether to characterize the evolution of geological elements under particular conditions (fluids flows, pressure, or temperature solicitations) or to monitor the temperature of a sample (changes of state, modification of physical properties), the possible applications are many and varied. Another application of in-situ tomography, which is highly valued by mechanical laboratories, concerns mechanical tests in order to characterize materials.
The in situ experiments carried out in an X-ray CT system deliver more helpful information on part behavior in a variety of real-world scenarios. Be it tensile, compression, bending & temperature testing devices – the design of a CT system makes it possible to host and control stages used for in situ scans.
In addition, thanks to in situ experiments carried out with X-ray CT, real part behavior is compared to the simulated experiments under real-world stress to see the impact on the sample. 

Benefits of using X-ray CT in scientific research

-   Non-destructive technique to avoid losing key information
-   Simple operations and fast results whether it is the acquisition or reconstruction imaging phase
-   In-situ design adapted to tests such as tensile, compression, bending, and temperature devices
-   From material inspections to biochemicals and animals
-   Nano & micro scale inspections to get the tiniest details with a resolution down to 0.4 µm
-   RX Solutions offers greater flexibility with custom made/adapted CT systems