High Resolution X-ray CT Services



High-resolution X-ray CT provides non-destructive three-dimensional mapping of density, enabling topology, structural visualization and quantitative analysis for a wide variety of samples, including live vertebrate and invertebrate animals, insects, plants, fossils, electronics and materials. The BRC Imaging Core provides full-service X-ray CT imaging.


Xradia Zeiss VersaXRM-520: The 520's create 3D datasets with a voxel size in a continuous range between 150nm and 50 microns. Using proprietary interchangeable focusing optics allows users to locate and scan small sub-regions within a specimen as large as 30 cm in height and 30 cm in diameter. This feature is unique among micro-CT devices, which typically have strict limits on the physical size of a specimen. The focusing capability is particularly useful for examining specimens that are too rare or delicate to be sectioned destructively (fossilsmuseum specimensexotic materials). 4D/5D+ datasets can be created via repeated scanning of the same specimen (e.g. before/after treatments, temperature changes, pressure changes, etc).

This instrument is used to visualize and measure structues in plants, insects, seeds, fossils, electronic or microfluidic devices, foods, fabrics, material constructs, soft or dense biological tissues, archaeological artifacts, etc.

Bruker Skyscan 1276: The micro-CT system has the same non-invasive capabilities and is generally used for faster and lower radiation dose/lower resolution scans. The 1276 can acquire data with voxels ranging from 2.8um-80um. It has an 9cm diameter bore which can accommodate live animals, plants, fossils, etc. In this system the x-ray source and detector rotate around the bore so that the specimen can remain stationary. Oboard anesthesia, dosage monitoring and cardiac and respiratory gating are available for live animals. Appropriate specimen and studies include: live vertebrate and invertebrate animals (e.g. during/after a treatment, at various stages of developmental morphogenesis, etc), insects, plants, fossils, electronics, and materials.


Recent news stories featuring BRC CT Imaging

New Imaging Technique Reveals Vulnerability of Coral Reefs (University of Hawai'i news)
Unearthing Jamestown's Leaders, and a Mystery (NY Times)
Identifying the Captain's Sash (Historic Jamestowne)
3D Scans of Fruit Fly Mating Uncover Female Biology (Cornell Chronicle)
CT scanner helps answer 150-year-old question of lung evolution (Cornell Chronicle)


CT Manager

     Teresa Porri




Users who write papers/manuscipts are encouraged to help us by adding the following to the acknowledgement section:


For users of the ZEISS-Xradia Versa 520:

Imaging data was acquired through the Cornell University Biotechnology Resource Center, with NIH  1S10OD012287 funding for the ZEISS-Xradia Versa 520 X-ray Microscope.


For users of the GE CT-120:

Imaging data was acquired through the Cornell University Biotechnology Resource Center, with NIH S10OD025049 for the SkyScan 1276 mouse CT.



Location/Shipping address

B46 Weill Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca NY 14853

High Resolution CT of an iPhone5        High Resolution CT of a midshipman fish