time lapse: microCT scanning at the australian synchrotron

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the brodribb and choat lab groups (read: my colleagues and i) are currently at the australian synchrotron in melbourne for an experiment to study what’s going on in the stems and roots of living trees during drought. using x-ray microCT, we can look inside the wood and examine whether vessels are functional (i.e. water-filled) or blocked, without cutting into the tree (which can create a range of problems for measurement).
here’s a time lapse video showing how our eucalyptus trees are mounted onto a high-tech robot arm (0.0001 mm precision movements!), centered, and then rotated during the x-ray scan:

the resulting microCT scans have a resolution of 10 micrometers per pixel and can be reconstructed to 3D models. more about that in a future post…

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