Tomographic reconstruction of a wide range of materials can be accomplished via mechanical polishing serial-sectioning – alternately polishing away material and imaging the remaining polished surface with optical (or electron) microscopy. Under computer control it is possible to acquire 2-D images of hundreds of sections without user intervention and assemble them for 3-D visualization and measurements. In general, the resulting 3-D images permit significantly better understanding of the structure of complex systems than would be possible with a few strategically acquired 2-D images at various depths. Herein we report what we believe is the first general implementation of automated Serial-Section Polishing Tomography (SSPT) and reconstruction using light microscopy.

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