Welcome to Arthropod imaging @ KIT

Constituting an estimated 80% of all living animals, arthropods are by far the most species-rich phylum of organisms. They include insects, spiders, crustaceans and a number of smaller groups, all characterized by an exoskeleton, a segmented body and paired appendages. Despite their evolutionary success and vast diversity, many aspects of arthropod biology are still unknown.

X-ray imaging is highly suited to visualizing internal morphological characteristics of opaque millimeter-sized specimens, especially those which are not dissectible or are of considerable value. In recent years, synchrotron-based X-ray imaging in particular has been established as an important tool to investigate arthropod morphology in a wide range of research fields ranging from evolutionary biology and paleontology to functional morphology, morphodynamics and biomimetics.

Within a network of international and interdisciplinary partners from universities, research centers and museums, scientists from KIT’s Laboratory for Applications of Synchrotron Radiation (LAS) and Institute for Photon Science and Synchrotron Radiation (IPS) investigate arthropod structure and function using a variety of different X-ray imaging techniques such as (fast) tomography, laminography, radiographic movies and in vivo cine-tomography. Apart from the scientific questions directly relevant to the organisms themselves, arthropods also serve as important test samples for the development and evaluation of biological X-ray imaging techniques both for conventional X-ray sources and synchrotron radiation facilities.


More coming soon...