Our body is hierarchically organized down to individual cells. Cutting-edge clinical imaging facilities reach a spatial resolution of a fraction of a millimeter, living cells invisible. A decade ago, post-mortem X-ray imaging by means of synchrotron radiation enabled the identification of Os-stained ganglion and unstained Purkinje cells. Very recently, even sub-cellular structures, such as nucleolus and the dendritic tree of Purkinje cells, were extracted by means of phase-contrast single-distance synchrotron radiation-based hard X-ray tomography. At the same time, conventional absorption-contrast, laboratory-based micro computed tomography was successfully applied to visualize brain components including individual Purkinje cells within a cerebellum specimen. Thus, the goal of isotropic-cellular-resolution visualization of soft tissues within a laboratory environment without application of any dedicated contrast agent was achieved. In this communication, we are discussing (1) to which extend the quality gain of the laboratory-based absorption-contrast tomography can be driven with respect to optical microscopy of stained tissue sections and (2) what value such a technique would add. As a proof of principle, four histological sections were affine-registered to corresponding three-dimensional (3D) tomography dataset. We are discussing a semi-automatic landmark-based 2D-3D registration framework and compare registration results based on mean square difference (MSD) metrics.
Anna Khimchenko, Georg Schulz, Christos Bikis, Hans Deyhle, Natalia Chicherova, Simone E. Hieber, Gabriel Schweighauser, Jürgen Hench, and Bert Müller, "Three-dimensional imaging of human brain tissues using absorption-contrast high-resolution X-ray tomography," Proc. SPIE 10162, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2017, 101620K (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 27, 2017; Published: 17 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2259977.
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