The team presents three-dimensional renderings of intact and unstained specimens where the epithelium's cellular composition is depicted in high detail. Phase contrast imaging techniques made it possible to combine high-resolution, deep-tissue penetration and preservation of contrast amongst minute features. Notably, the epithelium cells were visualized within an encasing bone structure and without requiring contrast agents. Further analysis revealed that healthy and damaged epithelium could be distinguished by way of synchrotron-based phase-contrast X-ray imaging.
Future development of this work points towards optimizing the acquisition parameters for intracochlear evaluation and vestibular organ assessment, pushing the spatial resolution even further and looking into ways of reducing the radiation dose.
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