Beauty of science: inside a toothpick


Tomographic slice of a commercial bamboo-based toothpick.

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The picture reveals different filling states of the cells thanks to the high sensitivity of synchrotron-based microtomography in combination with hard X-ray phase contrast. This sample was scanned at beamline ID19 within a study to compare laboratory-based phase contrast computed tomography (CT) with synchrotron-based imaging.

Such imaging techniques are highly beneficial in the study of water transport in plants in order to understand plant behaviour such as embolism repair.

toothpick cross section Toothpick cross-section Toothpick cross-section

Three cross-sectional views of a toothpick, approximately 5 mm in diameter (Credit: A. Rack and A. Bonnin).



Top image: Cropped region showing detail within the cross section image below, left.