Advanced CT Imaging of a Marten Skull
October 05, 2023 | Gina Naujokat
With the Comet Yxlon FF35 CT inspection system and advanced Vista features, you just choose the resolution you need - quick and simple. You obtain prime scan results by saving prescious time. See how it works.
Just choose the resolution you need – quick and simple
It all began with a request from the University of Chile being interested in seeing how advanced X-ray technology and specifically our high-resolution CT inspection systems with our sophisticated software features could support their biological explorations. Using a marten skull from their collection, our application specialists started the demonstration with a QuickScan of the Vista software package at our FF35 CT system for a 3-dimensional overview. The QuickScan mode is a cone-beam scan by continuously rotating the sample while capturing X-ray shots from every angle. It saves considerable time compared to the stop-and-go QualityScan mode while providing sufficient resolution for further analyses. Thanks to the intuitive Geminy user interface, the program choice is just a question of clicking the corresponding symbol, making the operation easy and quick for users with different skill levels in CT inspection.
Overview scan using
225 kV micro-focus tube
QuickScan mode (continuous rotation)
30 µm voxel size
Scan time 11:08 minutes
Marten skull QuickScan overview
The reconstructed 3D volume of the skull can get cut at any region of interest, and slices can get extracted for a 2D-representation.
Since the mandible was not fixed to the skull, we took the chance and made a second, separate detail scan using two new functionalities of the Vista packages. With the help of SmartGuard, we precisely defined the shape of the mandible. SmartGuard is designed for reliable crash protection, allowing the exact positioning of an inspection part to achieve the maximum scan resolution and magnification. Combined with ZoomScan from the VistaX package, the system will precisely follow this shape to maintain the closest distance to the sample at any point and guarantee maximum resolution of the complete scan.
Especially with flat test parts, VistaX SpeedMode offers ultimate efficiency. The flat sides contain the fewest information and thus don’t need as many shots as the angled positions and thicker regions. SpeedMode allows the definition of the scan steps speeding up the whole inspection process by keeping the highest possible resolution.
Detail scan marten mandible using
190 kV nano-focus tube
5.34 µm voxel size
Scan time 22:14 minutes
Marten mandible in high resolution with VistaX ZoomScan and SpeedMode
The scan results were impressive.
Marten mandible in details
Direct comparisons show the increase of detail resolution.
Above: slices of the ZoomScan volume
Below: direct comparison to skull overview slices with QuickScan
Dragonfly Artificial Intelligence
The challenge of segmentation
After this impressive demonstration, it was time for segmentation. The scan results were too homogenous. Despite the outstanding resolution of below 6 µm, it was not possible to distinguish the fine structures of the skull needed for a detailed analysis.
Coming back to the basics of X-ray, we must realize that the densities of the various tissues are extremely close to each other, and so are the gray values.
Conventional 8-bit detectors can display 265 shades of gray.
A modern 16-bit detector, which was used in this case, can display 65,535 shades of gray.
The human eye can distinguish 60 to 80 shades of gray.
No human is capable to determine the thresholds lying so close to each other.
Artificial Intelligence can!
Our team, highly skilled and experienced with the Dragonfly software, managed to teach the Deep Learning model accordingly and obtained stunning results.
Stepwise teach the model to see what you can’t see
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Unveiling the Mysteries of Life's Origins: Comet Yxlon and our Partnership with the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
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Have you ever pondered the wondrous journey of life, from conception to birth? At Comet Yxlon, we are proud to support the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin in their quest to answer this profound question through the innovative application of CT technology.View more