Diffraction computed tomography reveals the inner structure of complex biominerals

Hanna Leemreize, Mie Birkbak, Simon Frølich, Peter Kenesei, Jonathan D. Almer, Stuart R. Stock, Henrik Birkedal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


Modern materials are complex and their investigation demands advanced characterization tools capable of elucidating their structure in three dimensions without the need for complicated sample preparation. Herein, we discuss our implementation of diffraction/scattering computed tomography (DSCT). DSCT is based on the use of diffraction information for tomographic reconstructions rather than linear attenuation as in regular μ-CT. This provides much additional information on the material under investigation. We illustrate the use of DSCT by discussion of data on a biomineralized attachment organ from a marine mussel. DSCT allowed mapping the spatial distribution of calcium carbonate polymorphs aragonite and calcite even though they were indistinguishable in absorption tomography. Detailed analysis of reconstructed diffraction patterns may provide additional insights as exemplified in the present case by mapping of the degree of chemical substitution in calcite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography IX
EditorsStuart R. Stock
ISBN (Electronic)9781628412390
StatePublished - 2014
EventDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography IX - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 18 2014Aug 20 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography IX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Biomineralization
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Diffraction
  • Diffraction tomography
  • High energy X-rays
  • Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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