Microcomputed tomography: approaches and applications in bioengineering

Stem Cell Res Ther. 2014 Dec 29;5(6):144. doi: 10.1186/scrt534.


Microcomputed tomography (microCT) has become a standard and essential tool for quantifying structure-function relationships, disease progression, and regeneration in preclinical models and has facilitated numerous scientific and bioengineering advancements over the past 30 years. In this article, we recount the early events that led to the initial development of microCT and review microCT approaches for quantitative evaluation of bone, cartilage, and cardiovascular structures, with applications in fundamental structure-function analysis, disease, tissue engineering, and numerical modeling. Finally, we address several next-generation approaches under active investigation to improve spatial resolution, acquisition time, tissue contrast, radiation dose, and functional and molecular information.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • X-Ray Microtomography / instrumentation
  • X-Ray Microtomography / methods*