Cryostatic micro-CT imaging of transient processes

Steven M. Jorgensen, Basil Blank, Erik L. Ritman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A double walled copper vessel, 32cc in volume, was fabricated for micro-CT scanning tissue specimens maintained at cryogenic temperature. The space between the two nested vessels was evacuated and in two opposing sides of the vessel the copper has been replaced by beryllium foil. Nitrogen gas, boiling off liquid nitrogen, is injected continuously into the top of the chamber during the scanning process. Just prior to venting from the vessel the gas is heated and directed through a narrow gap over the outside of the beryllium "windows" so as to maintain the beryllium "windows" frost-free. A temperature detector within the chamber is used to control the rate of inflow of the nitrogen gas. The frozen specimen is attached to a small horizontal platform on top of a vertical stainless steel pin which exits the base of the vessel through a closely fitting hole and is attached to the computer-controlled rotating stage under the vessel. The vessel and rotation-stage assembly is mounted on a computer-controlled horizontal translation stage which can move the specimen out of the x-ray beam, from time to time, for x-ray beam calibration purposes. The purpose of this arrangement is to permit scanning of specimens that: 1) either cannot be "fixed' (e.g., with formalin) because of biomolecular analyses which are incompatible with prior fixation or, 2) are "snap"-frozen during a transient process, such as the accumulation and/or washout of radiopaque indicators distributed in microvascular or extravascular compartments, which lasts only seconds and hence is too fast for normal micro-CT methods to capture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-145
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2001


  • Contrast
  • Freezing
  • Imaging
  • Three-dimensional
  • X-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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