This species is of particular interest because it attacks vineyards. This plague results in severe economic damage for farmers all over the world, since this insect acts as vector for the spread among these plants of diseases caused by microorganisms.
The award-winning video has been shot by Javier Alba-Tercedor, a zoology professor at the University of Granada, using a SkyScan 1172 high resolution microtomographer, which his department purchased in 2007 thanks to an infrastructure subsidy provided by the European Fund for Regional Development.
Professor Alba-Tercedor has since mastered the different techniques for the preparation of samples, the use of the instrument itself as well as its software. This has led to most satisfactory results, which have earned him on four different occasions awards for best image and video in different editions (2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014) of the "Bruker-Micro CT Meeting".
Microtomography is a non-invasive technique, well known within the scientific community and widely used in medicine. In the case of micro-CT, it provides high resolution images. Since samples need not be altered in any manner whatsoever, it also allows for the study of valuable samples without producing any damage.
Thanks to this innovative technique, Prof. Alba-Tercedor has managed to record over little more than 30 seconds (the maximum length stipulated for the contest), a video which recreates the different parts of the body of this sharpshooter with a resolution of 1,45 micras per pixel, which proves the great potential of this technique.
Advantages of microtomography
According to Prof. Alba-Tercedor, microtomography represents an improvement in contrast with similar techniques, such as scanning electron microscopy. "Once they have been scanned, samples can be examined in the computer from any angle. Besides, you can also execute virtual cutssimilar to those applied in more traditional cases with
|Contact: Javier Alba-Tercedor|
University of Granada