Project 3140: P. T. Rühr, M. Lambertz. 2019. Surface contrast enhancement of integumentary structures in X-ray tomography. Journal of Anatomy. 235 (2):379-385.
Specimen: Bombus lapidarius (Linnaeus, 1758) (unvouchered)
View: CT scan of body


Micro‐computed tomography (μCT) has become standard in the biological sciences to reconstruct, display and analyse 3D models of all kinds of organisms. However, it is often impossible to capture fine details of the surface and the internal anatomy at the same time with sufficient contrast. Here we introduce a new approach for the selective contrast‐enhancement of integumentary surface structures. The method relies on conventional and readily available sputter coaters to cover the entire sample with a thin layer of gold atoms. This approach proved successful on a diverse array of plants and animals. On average, we achieved a 14.48‐fold gain of surface contrast (ranging from 2.42‐fold to 86.93‐fold) compared with untreated specimens. Even X‐ray‐transparent samples such as spider silk became accessible via μCT. This selective contrast‐enhancement, makes it possible to digitally reconstruct fine surface structures with low absorbance while the tissue‐dependent grey value resolution of the inner anatomy is maintained and remains fully visualisable. The methodology is suited for a broad scientific application across biology and other sciences employing (μ)CT, as well as educative and public outreach purposes.

Read the article »

Article DOI: 10.1111/joa.13008

Project DOI: 10.7934/P3140,
This project contains
  • 61 Media
  • 9 Taxa
  • 9 Specimens
Total size of project's media files: 196.57M

Download Project SDD File
Currently Viewing:
MorphoBank Project 3140

    Authors' Institutions

    • University of Cologne

    • Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (University of Bonn)

    • Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig


    member name taxa specimens media
    Peter T. Rühr
    Project Administrator

    Project has no matrices defined.

    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views41061
    Project overview1736
    Media views25409Media search (2749 views); M488303 (420 views); M595131 (366 views); M595132 (386 views); M595138 (375 views); M595141 (431 views); M595142 (414 views); M595145 (397 views); M595146 (368 views); M595147 (405 views); M595148 (410 views); M595163 (391 views); M662067 (404 views); M662068 (386 views); M662069 (371 views); M662070 (396 views); M662071 (391 views); M662072 (372 views); M662073 (396 views); M662074 (384 views); M662075 (383 views); M662076 (392 views); M662077 (382 views); M662078 (381 views); M662079 (358 views); M662080 (385 views); M662081 (353 views); M662082 (413 views); M662083 (384 views); M662084 (386 views); M662085 (395 views); M662086 (391 views); M662087 (399 views); M662088 (395 views); M662089 (378 views); M670124 (375 views); M673279 (372 views); M673280 (369 views); M673281 (391 views); M673282 (388 views); M673283 (408 views); M673284 (384 views); M673296 (379 views); M673297 (424 views); M673298 (369 views); M673299 (350 views); M673300 (353 views); M673301 (351 views); M673302 (335 views); M673303 (347 views); M673304 (317 views); M673305 (311 views); M673306 (394 views); M673307 (306 views); M673308 (319 views); M673309 (307 views); M673310 (314 views); M673311 (332 views); M673312 (301 views); M673314 (308 views); M673315 (314 views); M673313 (304 views);
    Specimen list7095
    Taxon list4277
    Views for media list1891
    Documents list8

    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project191
    Project downloads184
    Media downloads7M595131 (1 download); M662076 (1 download); M673280 (1 download); M673303 (1 download); M673298 (1 download); M673311 (1 download); M595132 (1 download);