Inauguration of a new generation research computed tomography (CT) - Aquilion ONE – the world’s most advanced state-of-the-art CT in veterinary research

New generation research computed tomography. Foto: Guido Fritsch/ IZW
New generation research CT. Foto: Guido Fritsch/ IZW

The Leibniz Institute for Zoo & Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin, Germany, today inaugurates the world’s most advanced state-of-the art computed tomography currently available in veterinary research. The new CT enables fascinating virtual insights into wildlife. It will be possible to display organ movements at a new level of spatial and temporal resolution, e.g. live heart beats.

The acquisition of this high performance CT is exemplary for a number of reasons. Firstly, it enables the IZW to explore new avenues in wildlife research. Applications range from evolutionary morphology to veterinary medicine and forensics. This research device with the world’s largest and most powerful X-ray detector in veterinary medicine can create 640 sliced images in one rotation around the (animal) patient and visually captures a breadth of 16 cm in only 35 milliseconds. Whole organ systems can be recorded in less than the blink of an eye and movements can be “frozen” or displayed in real-time. The novel dual energy technology permits quantitative material analysis of the mineral composition of the animal patients and other research objects, thus opening new areas of scientific research.

The research cooperation between the IZW and its industry partner, TOSHIBA Medical Systems, since 2009, is also a model of its kind. Already with a CT of the previous generation, the close research cooperation provided major benefits for both sides. Software and examination protocols for veterinary medicine were improved, and insights from using the CT in veterinary medicine research have been transferred successfully to novel CT devices for human medicine.

For the first time the investment of a large research device was realised by the leasing of the equipment, a new financing model for scientific equipment in publicly funded research in Germany. For our purpose it is the economically most advantageous and scientifically most attractive form of financing. This concrete financing model was developed by the Forschungs­verbund Berlin e. V. in consultation with the equipment manufacturer and endorsed by the Joint Science Conference (Gemeinsame Wissen­schafts­konferenz, GWK), the key government financing agency for research institutes of national relevance.

The IZW will demonstrate the quality and potential of the new TOSHIBA research computed tomography during the inauguration ceremony with a live, real-time examination with a tiger and a Malay bear as patients.


Contact & photos

Steven Seet

Unit Press & Communication
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and
Wildlife Research (IZW)
Alfred-Kowalke-Str. 17
10315 Berlin
+49 30 51 68 125
+49 177 857 26 73


Background information:

The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) investigates the vitality and adaptability of wildlife populations in mammalian and avian species of outstanding ecological interest that face anthropogenic challenges. It studies the adaptive value of traits in the life cycle of wildlife, wildlife diseases and clarifies the biological basis and development of methods for the protection of threatened species. Such knowledge is a precondition for a scientifically based approach to conservation and for the development of concepts for the ecologically sustainable use of natural resources. The IZW belongs to the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (


The Leibniz Association connects 89 independent research institutions that range in focus from the natural, engineering and environmental sciences via economics, spatial and social sciences to the humanities. Leibniz Institutes address issues of social, economic and ecological relevance. They conduct knowledge-driven and applied basic research, maintain scientific infrastructure and provide research-based services. The Leibniz Association identifies focus areas for knowledge transfer to policy-makers, academia, business and the public. Leibniz Institutes collaborate intensively with universities – in the form of “WissenschaftsCampi” (thematic partnerships between university and non-university research institutes), for example – as well as with industry and other partners at home and abroad. They are subject to an independent evaluation procedure that is unparalleled in its transparency. Due to the institutes’ importance for the country as a whole, they are funded jointly by the Federation and the Länder, employing some 17,500 individuals, including 8,800 researchers. The entire budget of all the institutes is approximately 1.5 billion EUR.