The new SkyScan 1278 micro-CT system for in vivo imaging is addressing the needs of scientists working in the exciting areas of physiological response to disease and regenerative medicine. Many researchers strive to reduce the levels of radiation used in animal studies.

Lower levels reduce the risk of associated complications, but any system that offers this advantage must not compromise on the quality of images produced. As part of the development of the SkyScan 1278, Bruker has created a new micro-CT spatial beam shaper, which reduces the absorbed dose by up to five times while maintaining high quality image output.

The SkyScan 1278 has a highly sensitive flat-panel detector that is able to deliver images of mouse heart and lung activities without using a contrast agent. Such images allow the user to explore cardiac and respiratory function and gain new insights, while reducing animal stress and the cost of the study.

A full-body animal scan can take 8 seconds or less, thus reducing overall run times and increasing the speed of data collection. The system has many innovative features built-in to assist with study workflow. An integrated touchscreen allows the SkyScan 1278 to be controlled without users needing to remove their gloves.

Results can be directly sent to mobile devices, including iPad, iPhone and Android devices for volume rendering and manipulations using the software supplied. The system will also send an e-mail with a direct link to the results for review.

Animal beds for rats and mice are available made of carbon fiber or polystyrene foam. An integrated physiological monitoring subsystem provides breathing and heart-beat gating for proven thoracic image improvement by synchronized acquisition.


X-ray source 20…65kV, 50W, 50µm spot size, 4-position filter changer
X-ray detector flat panel CMOS sensor, 1944x1536 pixels, 14bit
Scanning Diameter 80mm in diameter; 200mm in length (80mm in length in one single scan)
Nominal Resolution <52µm at any location in the scanned volume
Reconstruction volume up to 1536x1536x1566 pixels
Reconstruction time mouse size (40mm diam., 80mm length) 13s for 100µm pixels, 45s for 50µm;
rat size (80mm diam., 80mm length) 24s for 100µm pixels, 3m50s for 50µm  
Radiation safety <1 µSv/h at any point on the instrument surface during scan