Three-dimensional (3D) topographic structures of acupuncture points were investigated by using synchrotron radiation in-line X-ray phase contrast computerized tomography. Two acupuncture points, named Zhongji (RN3) and Zusanli (ST36), were studied. We found an accumulation of microvessels at each acupuncture point region. Images of the tissues surrounding the acupuncture points do not show such kinds of structure. This is the first time that 3D images have revealed the specific structures of acupuncture points.
Acupuncture point Synchrotron radiation X-ray Phase contrast Microvessel
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This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (no. 2006CB504509) and the Project of the State Key Program of the National Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 10635060). We also would like to thank the staff of SSRF BL13W for technical support and their help in treatment of IL-XPCT images.
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