How To See Internal Structure Of Objects

University of Manchester researchers, working with colleagues in the UK, Europe and the US, designed a novel imaging technique that could have a wide range of applications across many disciplines, such as materials science, geology, environmental science and medical research.

x-ray vision

This new imaging method – termed Pair Distribution Function-Computed Tomography – represents one of the most significant developments in X-ray micro tomography for almost 30 years,” said Professor Robert Cernik in Manchester’s School of Materials.”
Using this method we are able to image objects in a non-invasive manner to reveal their physical and chemical nano-properties and relate these to their distribution in three-dimensional space at the micron scale.
“Such relationships are key to understanding the properties of materials and so could be used to look at in-situ chemical reactions, probe stress-strain gradients in manufactured components, distinguish between healthy and diseased tissue, identify minerals and oil-bearing rocks or identify illicit substances or contraband in luggage.


How to Draw Superior Images of Nanoparticles

A new x-ray imaging technique yields unprecedented measurements of nanoscale structures. Now, owing to a happy accident and subsequent insight, researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new and strikingly simple x-ray scattering technique—detailed in the February issue of the Journal of Applied Crystallography—to help draw nanomaterials ranging from catalysts to proteins into greater focus.
x-ray beamThis rendering shows the high-intensity x-ray beam striking and then traveling through the gray sample material. In this new technique, the x-ray scattering—the blue and white ripples—is considerably less distorted than in other methods, producing superior images with less complex analysis.During an experiment, we noticed that one of the samples was misaligned,” said physicist Kevin Yager, a coauthor on the new study. “Our x-ray beam was hitting the edge, not the center as is typically desired. But when we saw how clean and undistorted the data was, we immediately realized that this could be a huge advantage in measuring nanostructures.


How To Prevent Bone Fractures

Using cutting-edge X-ray techniques, Cornell researchers have uncovered cellular-level detail of what happens when bone bears repetitive stress over time, visualizing damage at smaller scales than previously observed. Their work could offer clues into how bone fractures could be prevented. More: from athletes to individuals suffering from osteoporosis, bone fractures are usually the result of tiny cracks accumulating over time — invisible rivulets of damage that, when coalesced, lead to that painful break.
Marjolein van der Meulen, the Swanson Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, led the study published online March 5 in PLOS One using transmission X-ray microscopy at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, part of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Transmission X-ray microscope images of damage generated in a bone sample and stained with lead-uranyl acetate. White is the staining of microdamage, gray is bone and black is background. On the left is one-time loading of the sample, and on the right is repeated loading.

In skeletal research, people have been trying to understand the role of damage,” said van der Meulen, whose research is called mechanobiology — how mechanics intersects with biological processes. “One of the things people have hypothesized is that damage is one of the stimuli that cells are sensing.”


How To Diagnose Lung Diseases at Early Stage

Severe lung diseases are among the leading causes of death worldwide. To date they have been difficult to diagnose at an early stage. Within an international collaboration scientists from Munich- Germany – now developed an X-ray technology to do just that. Now they are working on bringing the procedure into medical practice.
X-Ray Nanotechnology.
A combination of dark-field and conventional transmission information allows for a clear distinction of healthy versus emphysematous tissue and an assessment of the regional distribution of the disease. From such images, a doctor might in future not only see if a patient is diseased but also which parts of the lung are affected and how much.
Especially in early stages of the disease, identification, precise quantification and localization of emphysema through the new technology would be very helpful”, says Professor Maximilian Reiser, head of the Institute for Clinical Radiology at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich.