The purpose of this application is to purchase a novel, ultrahigh resolution micro computed tomography system for non-destructive three dimensional analyses of synthetic and ex vivo specimens. The proposed Scanco 5CT50 system is the first and only system currently capable of producing images with submicron voxels in a field of view large enough for small animal specimens. If successful, Vanderbilt will be the first academic institution in the United States to obtain a system with these capabilities. This system will open new avenues of research because it will resolve heretofore hidden features such as porosity in murine cortical bone, the spatial distribution of mineralization in trabeculae, the complete structure of capillary beds and biliary vasculature. Moreover, its speed and automated specimen loading system will reduce data acquisition time and investigator wait time. Thus, the 5CT50 will support and expand numerous, wide ranging, NIH funded projects as well as pilot projects for future investigations. Supported projects include investigations on angiogenesis, skeletal consequences of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and multiple myeloma, bone quality, craniofacial development, endochondral ossification, biliary duct development, and development of tissue culture scaffolds. Aspects of each of these studies are focused on microstructures (e.g., the tumor- bone interface, mineralizing fracture callus, microcracks, biliary ducts, capillaries, etc.) that are often 5?- 5mm in size and will therefore be significantly enhanced by the superior resolution of the 5CT50. In addition, these projects will benefit from the increased access and speed of the improved computer support system. This system will reconstruct and analyze data sets that significantly exceed the capabilities of other currently available systems. Due to its ground breaking resolution, the 5CT50 will undoubtedly foster collaborations within Vanderbilt University and at neighboring institutions. Housing this instrument in the Vanderbilt University Institute for Imaging Science (VUIIS), which has been highly successful in managing numerous, imaging modalities for users, will ensure campus wide access and superior management. Acquisition of the 5CT50 will hasten important discoveries and treatments in areas of craniofacial, cancer, skeletal, hepatic and tissue regeneration fields, among others.
This novel microCT, which is not currently housed by any U.S. company or institution, is the only instrument available that can acquire images of small animal specimens with detail to see structures as small as 1 micrometer in diameter. This instrument will allow investigators to obtain heretofore unattainable information about the three dimensional architecture of microstructures that affect disease and development.
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