Micro-computed tomography - Current status and developments

Erik L. Ritman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

287 Scopus citations


The recent rapid increase in interest in tomographic imaging of small animals and of human (and large animal) organ biopsies is driven largely by drug discovery, cancer detection/monitoring, phenotype identification and/or characterization, and development of disease detection methods and monitoring efficacies of drugs in disease treatment. In biomedical applications, micro-computed tomography (CT) scanners can function as scaled-down (i.e., mini) clinical CT scanners that provide a three-dimensional (3-D) image of most, if not the entire, torso of a mouse at image resolution (50-100 μm) scaled proportional to that of a human CT image. Micro-CT scanners, on the other hand, image specimens the size of intact rodent organs at spatial resolutions from cellular (20 μm) down to subcellular dimensions (e.g., 1 μm) and fill the resolution-hiatus between microscope imaging, which resolves individual cells in thin sections of tissue, and mini-CT imaging of intact volumes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-208
Number of pages24
JournalAnnual Review of Biomedical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004


  • Contrast agents
  • Small animal
  • Synchrotron
  • Three-dimensional
  • X-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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