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Methods. 2010 Jan;50(1):2-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2009.08.007. Epub 2009 Aug 23.

Application of micro-CT in small animal imaging.

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University of Heidelberg, Department of Neuroradiology, Germany.


Over the past decade, the number of publications using micro-computed tomography (muCT) imaging in preclinical in vivo studies has risen exponentially. Higher spatial and temporal resolution are the key technical advancements that have allowed researchers to capture increasingly detailed anatomical images of small animals and to monitor the progression of disease in small animal models. The purpose of this review is to present the technical aspects of muCT, as well as current research applications. Our objectives are threefold: to familiarize the reader with the basics of muCT techniques; to present the type of experimental designs currently used; and to highlight limitations, future directions, in muCT-scanner research applications, and experimental methods. As a first step we present different muCT setups and components, as well as image contrast generation principles. We then present experimental approaches in order of the evaluated organ system. Finally, we provide a short summary of some of the technical limitations of muCT imaging and discuss potential future developments in muCT-scanner techniques and experimental setups.

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