Micro-CT Scanning

 Access, Operation, and Use

  • This instrument is available for both research and educational purposes. Depending on the type of biological specimen, the average scanning time can range from 2-12 hours.
  • When data acquisition is completed,  a 3D reconstructed volume will be available for analysis in minutes.
  • Instrument usage has limited direct access; operation and maintenance of the instrument, including data acquisition, is performed by staff.
  • Interested users must contact Sabra Djomehri (see contact info) and submit the Services Request Form which will be provided after the first correspondence.

 Rates for Scanning

Task Type Rate for UCSF users Rate for UC-affilated, or other academic users Rate for non-academic/industry users
Micro-CT Scanning, mechanical testing 35 45 150
Specimen preparation 35 45 150
Image processing and data analysis 35 45 150
Consultations, scheduled meetings 35 45 150


  •  Rates are subject to change
  •  Data analysis time performed using advanced software (Amira, Avizo, etc.) by either the user or micro-CT specialist on our workstations is charged
  •  Data analysis performed using the micro-CT system’s software and analysis troubleshooting is also charged.

 Additional Information

For more information on specific sample holders used for specimen mounting, please click here.

Some common questions regarding scanning are:

  • How can I match my sample size to the dimensional limits of the instrument?
  • How can I optimize scan quality?
  • How can I optimize scan time with my current budget? 
  • What is the cost estimate of a scan?

To help clarify these questions, please use the following table as a guide:

Magnification 2X 4X 10X 20X 40X
Spatial resolution (pixel size in microns) ~10.5 ~5.5 ~2 ~0.9 ~0.4
Maximum attainable field of view (mm x mm) 14x14 6x6 2x2 0.8x0.8 0.5x0.5
Generic sample thickness (mm) ~3-10 ~2-10 ~0.2-2 ~0.1-1 ~0.05-1
Generic sample height (mm) ~5-25 ~5-15 ~1-10 ~0.5-5 ~0.2-5
Approximate scan time (tomography), in hours (fair quality) ~2-6 ~2-4 ~3-8 ~4-10 ~4-10
Approximate scan time (tomography), in hours (best quality) ~6-15 ~4-10 ~8-18 ~10-20 ~10-20
Approximate 2D radiograph scan time, in minutes ~30-45 ~30-45 ~45-60 ~45-60 ~45-60

*Note: The above information provides a rough estimation of actual scan parameters and is highly variable depending on sample type. Troubleshooting the system for each specific sample is required.