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Brian Metscher

Interdisciplinary imaging scientist, evolutionary developmental biologist, specialist in biological and biomedical applications of X-ray microtomography, experienced and effective teacher. I currently run the imaging lab in the Theoretical Biology Department at the University of Vienna, where I  established the essential methods for contrast-enhanced microCT imaging of soft tissues for life sciences applications. Current projects include
I am available for consulting, giving lectures, or leading workshops on imaging and applications, X-ray microscopy for life sciences, and scientific writing.

MicroCT imaging and applications

14d rat embryo

Soft-tissue imaging for comparative embryology, functional morphology, systematics, and morphometric studies... Metscher 2009, BMC Physiol 9:11

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Rat 15d section

  ...and developmental morphology of model and non-model species with histological detail in 3D.

Amia PTA

Metscher 2009, Dev Dyn 238:632-640.

Molecular imaging

We are currently working to update and streamline techniques for 3D imaging of molecular probes in whole samples.

chick tubulin

Chick embryo immunostained for acetylated α-tubulin, contrasted with peroxidase-mediated reduced silver deposition. Metscher and Müller 2011, Dev Dyn 240:2301.


Dual-energy microCT imaging

Another ongoing project is developing methods for simultaneous imaging of different materials within a sample. 

cat digit DECT

Double-stained cat toe pad with different tissues distinguished by dual-energy image decomposition. Handschuh et al. 2017, J. Microscopy 267:3-26.

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Virtual specimens and Cybertypes

...like the millipede Ommatoiulus avatar. High-detail 3D images of irreplaceable specimens can be freely shared as a resource for systematics and biodiversity research. Akkari et al. 2015, PLoS ONE 10:8.
Akkari et al. 2018, PLoS ONE 13:7.

MicroCT in diagnostic pathology

Skin lesion

Canine skin lesion hemisected vertically. Virtual sections near the common (cut) surface (9 µm voxels). L: Lugol staining, favours keratin, adipose tissue. R: PTA staining - favours collagen, connective tissue. Collaboration with Dr. R. Doughty, AHUS, Oslo.