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Sunita Ho Awarded S10 HHS/NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant

August 4, 2010

Dr. Sunita Ho

Sunita Ho, MS, PhD, of UCSF Dentistry's Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, has been awarded the Department of Health and Human Services/National Institutes of Health S10 Shared Instrumentation Grant.

The grant was applied to the purchase of an Xradia MicroXCT, decribed as a "versatile 3D X-ray imaging system suited for non-destructive analysis of a large variety of samples." Dr. Ho says that the device will be used to "look at the internal structure of materials" in a process she described as "virtual histology" to complement conventional histology, permitting a rotatable, three-dimensional "slice-by-slice" view of a biological specimen, at the same time revealing structural density variations.

While the new equipment is primarily used for dentistry research, other investigators have also made use of it - principally, co-investigators from Medicine's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

"Seeing is believing" says Ho, describing the imaging aspects of her research as "high-resolution microscopy using different imaging modalities", including mechanical probes, electron beams, and now, with the new capability, "a nice, focused x-ray ... to look at internal structures", adding that it is a complement to existing research methodologies.

Pictured (top to bottom): Dr. Sunita Ho; Xradia MicroXCT imaging.