This is a shared instrumentation grant proposal requesting a nondestructive, multi-scale micro-CT system, the Zeiss Xradia 520 Versa system. Over the past several years there has been an explosive growth in the development of micro-imaging technologies, including micro-CT. The system we plan to purchase has been specifically selected based upon the diversified and sophisticated requirements of researchers. The system is commercially built by a leading micro-CT company. The scanner features include: (1) a variable spatial resolution (0.7 - 100 microns) and field of view (up to 300mm) to accommodate a wide variety of samples and data resolution levels. (2) Unique optical zoom capabilities which allow the identification of target regions within a large specimen to be identified and scanned at high resolution. This ability to nondestructively image samples at multi-scale resolutions is unique to the Zeiss Xradia Versa systems. (3) Optimized image contrast via advanced scintillator technology and dual energy scan contrast visualization technology highlights features normally indistinguishable in a single scan. The requested system is highly unique, with only two currently installed within the United States of America. This technology presents the major user groups listed within this proposal, opportunities to more effectively answer funded research questions. The nondestructive multi-scale micro-CT imaging capabilities of this system expand the ability to understand and characterize three dimensional micro- structure and architecture in a manner not possible with any other technology. In so doing, access to this technology will allow our major users to advance pulmonary, technology, image processing, computer modeling, bone and material science research. In addition to advancing the science of the major user groups, the incorporation of this device within the multidisciplinary environment of the Iowa Institute of Biomedical Imaging (IIBI) at the University of Iowa would facilitate broad access to the technology, facilitate multi-modality imaging studies, and present valuable academic and educational opportunities for students and trainees. Access to this technology will also foster further development of the field of micro-CT imaging with aims and expertise within the IIBI to expand automated image processing techniques for quantification in these datasets.
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