Visualizing soft tissue in the mammalian cochlea with coherent hard X-rays

Authors

  • C. Rau,

    Corresponding author
    1. Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801
    • UNICAT, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass, Argonne, IL 60439, USA
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  • I.K. Robinson,

    1. Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801
    2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College, London, United Kingdom
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  • C.-P. Richter

    1. Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611
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Abstract

This paper concerns an important aspect of current developments in medical and biological imaging: the possibility for imaging soft tissue at relatively high resolution in the micrometer range or better, without tedious and/or entirely destructive sample preparation. Structures with low absorption contrast have been visualized using in-line phase contrast imaging. The experiments have been performed at the Advanced Photon Source, a third generation source of synchrotron radiation. The source provides highly coherent X-ray radiation with high photon flux (>1014 photons/s) at high photon energies (5–70 keV). Thick gerbil cochlear slices have been imaged and were compared with those obtained by light microscopy. Furthermore, intact gerbil cochleae have been imaged to identify the soft tissue structures involved in the hearing process. The present experimental approach was essential for visualizing the inner ear structures involved in the hearing process in an intact cochlea. Microsc. Res. Tech., 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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