X-rays in Life Sciences

Sigray’s x-ray solutions for life sciences include 3D x-ray microscopes, microXRF systems, and x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) systems. These systems are used for multi-scale 3D imaging spanning from organs to subcellular structures (virtual histology) and metallomics.

3D Virtual Histology with X-ray Microscopes

Biological tissue and organic materials are often viewed as the most challenging materials for both electron and x-ray based approaches. This is because such samples charge under an electron beam and are often too poorly attenuating for x-rays to obtain suitable contrast. Sigray has introduced several major innovations in x-ray microscopes to address these challenging materials at resolutions ranging from sub-cellular to cellular resolutions (30nm to 5-10 µm):

  • A patented multi-target quasi-monochromatic x-ray source in ChromaXRM for the highest absorption contrast achievable in the laboratory at submicron 3D resolution
  • Novel tri-contrast imaging in PrismaXRM for access to new contrast mechanisms to show features in soft and biological materials that would otherwise could not be seen using x-rays
  • 2.7 keV x-ray energy in its TriLambda nanoXRM for 30-100nm 3D resolution in cells

With the Sigray nanoCT and microCT solutions, researchers can virtually rotate, measure, section, and dissect organs and cells. These solutions also are ideal for correlative microscopy with electron-based techniques (e.g., FIB-SEM and FIB-TEM).

Insects (Entomology)

3D X-ray Microscopy (microCT) is a powerful solution for morphological measurements for insect taxonomy and understanding the biodiversity of insects, which remains poorly understood. For industrial purposes, 3D x-ray imaging of insects enables the development of effective pesticides by observing changes to internal organs after treatment.