Correlative multiscale tomography of biological materials

Robert S. Bradley, Philip J. Withers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The intricate hierarchical microstructures typical of biological materials give rise to fascinating combinations of anisotropic mechanical properties that can surpass those of man-made materials. The linking together of three-dimensional (3D) imaging techniques has the potential to reveal these structures in unprecedented detail. However, a complete understanding can only be reached if the relationship between structure and mechanical properties can be elucidated. X-ray-computed tomography (CT) is uniquely placed to image such structures across a wide range of length scales. We review recent technical advances that are leading to improved contrast and spatial resolution. We highlight how time-lapse CT 3D studies can track the response of hierarchical microstructures to mechanical loading.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)549-554
    Number of pages6
    JournalMRS Bulletin
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


    • biological
    • fracture
    • microstructure
    • scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
    • x-ray tomography


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