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.