X-ray Microscopic Examination of a Rose

Figure 1: Mounted rose ready for imaging

Approximately 250 million roses are grown around the world to prepare for the annual Valentine’s Day holiday each February.1 While roses are renowned for their beauty, ensuring that each field of farmed roses will be ready to blossom just in time for the holiday requires a balance of science and art to pull off each year.

Angiosperms are one of the most successful groups on earth, in large part due to the reproductive efficiency of flowers. Aside from their beauty, flowers have important agro-economic importance since much of our food comes directly from fruits and seeds, which are parts and products of flowers. Understanding the mechanisms underlying flower development and fertilization is critical to today’s breeding, research, and crop management. Micro-CT’s non-destructive 3D image acquisition and processing methods are better able to track plant movement, growth, and yield over time than 2D methods alone. Researchers are using 3D reconstructed plant models to describe leaf features and discriminate between weed and crop, among other insights.

We utilized the SkyScan 1273 desktop micro-CT to visualize and create a digital model of a rose from a dataset acquired in under five minutes.

X-Ray Microscopic Imaging of a Rose

A fresh rose was removed from a bouquet and the stem was trimmed before placing it in water to keep the flower hydrated during imaging. Any loose or damaged petals were removed from the perimeter of the flower to minimize motion artifacts during imaging. We examined the rose using our high-capacity SkyScan 1273 micro-CT with the continuous imaging mode at an isotropic voxel size of 50 µm. For delicate samples that may have difficulty remaining stable for long periods of imaging, the continuous imaging mode present within the SkyScan 1273 is a great solution to acquire a high-quality dataset at a fraction of the time required for traditional step-and-shoot imaging. For this specific example, we imaged the rose in less than five minutes.


Figure 2: Planar 2D slices through the rose

As shown in Figure 2, DataViewer provides us with a linked set of 2D images to navigate through the dataset. Within the dataset we see the highest intensity signal within the stem of the flower, which is logical since the stem is the storehouse for the flower and contains the water and nutrients needed to keep the flower blooming.


Figure 3: CTVox rendered volumetric model of the rose dataset


Since the grayscale values for the stem are higher than those of the flower petals, CTVox can apply color mapping to the dataset to highlight the different regions as shown in Figure 3. While this dataset only has two distinct regions to highlight, CTVox allows you to apply as many colors as desired to best communicate your findings with the world.

Figure 4: Maverick 3D renderings of the flower and stem dataset

From our reconstructed datasets, we were able to import different versions of our dataset into Simpleware ScanIP software. The CAD add-on module was used to segment into volumetric models with one model representing the stem and green leaves and the other model representing the flower petals. Maverick Render Indie then allowed us to apply colors and textures to the models, as shown in Figure 4.


Among the SkyScan product line, the SkyScan 1273 is a workhorse instrument with the most flexibility for different sample types within our portfolio. Being a benchtop system and full self-shielding makes the SkyScan 1273 a great fit for many laboratories.

We hope you found this Image of the Month informative and encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter and social media channels in preparation for the continuation of our Image of the Month series next month.

Scan Specifications

Sample Rose
Voltage (kV) 50
Current (µA) 300
Filter none
Voxel Size (nm) 50
Rotation Step Continuous
Exposure Time (ms) 90
Rotation Extent (deg.) 180
Scan Time (HH:MM:SS) 00:04:05

These scans were completed on our SkyScan 1273 micro-CT system at the Micro Photonics Imaging Laboratory in Allentown, PA. Reconstructions were completed using NRecon 2.0 while visualization and volumetric inspection of the 2D and 3D results were completed using DataViewer and CTVox. The ion exchange beads and plastic tubing were converted to STL volumetric models using Synopsys’ Simpleware ScanIP software with the CAD add-on module (Synopsys, Inc., Mountain View, USA) before 3D rendering using Maverick Render Indie (Random Control, Madrid, Spain).

Would you like your work to be featured in our monthly newsletter? If so, please contact us by calling Seth Hogg at 610-366-7103 or emailing seth.hogg@microphotonics.com.



*Simpleware software (Synopsys, Inc., Mountain View, USA) enables you to comprehensively process 3D image data (MRI, CT, micro-CT, FIB-SEM…) and export models suitable for CAD, CAE and 3D printing. Use Simpleware software’s capabilities to visualize, analyze, and quantify your data, and to export models for design and simulation workflows. Simpleware™ is a trademark of Synopsys, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


Related Products

Related Articles

US Partner Form

    Coming Soon:

    Customer access to tips and instructional videos, method notes, tutorials, application notes, and other content to support your research.


    Service Engineer opening for Micro-CT Systems

    We are looking for a service engineer to join our team of experts in helping advance research by providing technical support and maintenance for micro-CT systems across the United States.

    Please submit resumes to: info@microphotonics.com

    Micro Photonics Inc.
    1550 Pond Road, STE 110
    Allentown, PA 18104



    WVC Annual Conference

    Las Vegas, NV
    February 19-21
    Booth 1484

    Privacy Policy

    What information do we collect? We collect information from you when you register on our site, place an order, subscribe to our newsletter or fill out a form. When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address, mailing address, phone number or credit card information. You may, however, visit our site anonymously.
    What do we use your information for? Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways:

    ; To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs).

    ; To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs).

    ; To process transactions. Your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested.

    ; To send periodic emails .The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order.Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

    Terms and Conditions

    Terms of Service for www.microphotonics.com

    Introduction. Welcome to www.microphotonics.com. This website is owned and operated by Micro Photonics Inc. By visiting our website and accessing the information, resources, services, products, and tools we provide, you understand and agree to accept and adhere to the following terms and conditions as stated in this policy (hereafter referred to as ‘User Agreement’), along with the terms and conditions as stated in our Privacy Policy (please refer to the Privacy Policy section below for more information).

    This agreement is in effect as of October 25, 2018.

    We reserve the right to change this User Agreement from time to time without notice. You acknowledge and agree that it is your responsibility to review this User Agreement periodically to familiarize yourself with any modifications. Your continued use of this site after such modifications will constitute acknowledgment and agreement of the modified terms and conditions.

    Responsible Use and Conduct. By visiting our website and accessing the information, resources, services, products, and tools we provide for you, either directly or indirectly (hereafter referred to as ‘Resources’), you agree to use these Resources only for the purposes intended as permitted by (a) the terms of this User Agreement, (b) the terms of any applicable confidentiality, non-disclosure, or other agreement between you and a third party, and (c) applicable laws, regulations and generally accepted online practices or guidelines.

    Call Now Button