Correlative multiscale tomography of biological materials

Abstract

The intricate hierarchical microstructures typical of biological materials give rise to fascinating combinations of anisotropic mechanical properties that can surpass those of man-made materials. The linking together of three-dimensional (3D) imaging techniques has the potential to reveal these structures in unprecedented detail. However, a complete understanding can only be reached if the relationship between structure and mechanical properties can be elucidated. X-ray-computed tomography (CT) is uniquely placed to image such structures across a wide range of length scales. We review recent technical advances that are leading to improved contrast and spatial resolution. We highlight how time-lapse CT 3D studies can track the response of hierarchical microstructures to mechanical loading.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank EPSRC funding for the Henry Moseley X-Ray Imaging Facility under Grants EP/M010619, EP/K004530, EP/F007906, and EP/F028431. R.S.B. is grateful for Zeiss for funding his research fellowship.

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Bradley, R.S., Withers, P.J. Correlative multiscale tomography of biological materials. MRS Bulletin 41, 549–556 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1557/mrs.2016.137

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