The use of contrast agent for imaging biological samples
JINST 6 C01096, doi: 10.1088/1748-0221/6/01/C01096
The technique of X-ray transmission imaging has been available for over a century and is still among the fastest and easiest approaches to the studies of internal structure of biological samples. Recent advances in semiconductor technology have led to the development of new types of X-ray detectors with direct conversion of interacting X-ray photon to an electric signal. Semiconductor pixel detectors seem to be specially promising; compared to the film technique, they provide single-quantum and real-time digital information about the objects being studied. We describe the recently developed radiographic apparatus, equipped with Medipix2 semiconductor pixel detector. The detector is used as an imager that counts individual photons of ionizing radiation, emitted by an X-ray tube (micro- or nano-focus FeinFocus). Thanks to the wide dynamic range of the Medipix2 detector and its high spatial resolution better than 1μm, the setup is particularly suitable for radiographic imaging of small biological samples, including in-vivo observations with contrast agent (Optiray). Along with the description of the apparatus we provide examples of the use iodine contrast agent as a tracer in various insects as model organisms. The motivation of our work is to develop our imaging techniques as non-destructive and non-invasive. Microradiographic imaging helps detect organisms living in a not visible environment, visualize the internal biological processes and also to resolve the details of their body (morphology). Tiny live insects are an ideal object for our studies.
Cite article as:
J. Jakůbek, "The use of contrast agent for imaging biological samples", JINST 6 C01096, doi: 10.1088/1748-0221/6/01/C01096 (2011)