|2020 — 2023
||Schubert, Blaine (co-PI) [⬀]
Widga, Chris (co-PI) [⬀]
N/AActivity Code Description:
No activity code was retrieved: click on the grant title for more information
Mri: Acquisition of Micro-Computed Tomography System For Imaging by Multiple, Inter-Disciplinary, Users At East Tennessee State University
@ East Tennessee State University
This Major Research Instrumentation grant supports the acquisition of micron scale imaging X-ray Computed Tomography system (XRCT), to be housed on the campus of East Tennessee State University (ETSU) for the use of local and regional researchers and their students. Micro-XRCT allows for non-destructive imaging of the exteriors and interiors of solid sample with micron scale spatial resolution allowing for rapid and quantitative measurement of the morphology and structure of biological and paleontological specimens, physical samples, and cultural artifacts. It is particularly critical for study of museum specimens, artifacts, and rare samples owing to its non-destructive nature. The instrument will support research on an extensive collection of cultural artifacts, specimens, and fossils housed at the Museum of Natural History, Reece Museum, Biological Sciences invertebrate and vertebrate museums, and Geosciences osteological collections at ETSU. All told these public collections contain hundreds of thousands of objects that are curated using public funds but may be hard to access and view. Using XRCT, 3-D digital images of specimens can be generated, analyzed, and easily shared with the public, all while preserving the object for future generations to study. Combined with 3D printing, this technology will significantly boost STEM training in the region and engage a wider audience across Southern Appalachia.
The XRCT instrument will be used many researchers across ETSU and the region, however, it will receive heavy use from three departments at ETSU. In Biological Sciences it will be used for high resolution, 3-D imaging of biological specimens to reveal links between form and function, developmental processes, and evolution of organisms. In the Center of Excellence in Paleontology it will be used for high resolution, 3-D imaging of modern and fossil vertebrates to explore growth, development, morphology and pathologies of modern and fossil vertebrates and as part of large-scale digitization efforts at the ETSU Museum of Natural History and Gray Fossil Site, one of the world's premier archives of Cenozoic mammal fossils. The instrument will also support 3-D reconstruction of cultural artifacts at the Reece Museum for research on form and function and to enhance exhibitions and education opportunities.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.