SYNAPSE: An international roadmap to large brain imaging

Anton P.J. Stampfl, Zhongdong Liu, Jun Hu, Kei Sawada, H. Takano, Yoshiki Kohmura, Tetsuya Ishikawa, Jae Hong Lim, Jung Ho Je, Chian Ming Low, Alvin Teo, Eng Soon Tok, Tin Wee Tan, Kenneth Ban, Camilo Libedinsky, Francis Chee Kuan Tan, Kuan Peng Chen, An Cheng Yang, Chao Chun Chuang, Nan Yow ChenChi Tin Shih, Ting Kuo Lee, De Nian Yang, Hsu Chao Lai, Hong Han Shuai, Chang Chieh Cheng, Yu Tai Ching, Chia Wei Li, Ching Che Charng, Chung Chuan Lo, Ann Shyn Chiang, Benoit Recur, Cyril Petibois, Chia Liang Cheng, Hsiang Hsin Chen, Shun Min Yang, Yeukuang Hwu, Catleya Rojviriya, Supagorn Rugmai, Saroj Rujirawat, Giorgio Margaritondo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Since 2020, synchrotron radiation facilities in several Asia-Pacific countries have been collaborating in a major project called “SYNAPSE” (Synchrotrons for Neuroscience: an Asia-Pacific Scientific Enterprise). They use x-ray imaging to attack in a coordinated fashion one of the major issues in modern science: the structure of animal and human brains, including neurons and connections. The objective is to develop Google-like maps also including detailed structural and functional information for selected regions of interest. The sheer mass of data needed for the objective poses huge problems for the acquisition, processing, storage and use of images. In order to complete the task within a reasonable time, the key element of the SYNAPSE strategy is the parallel and coordinated work of several facilities on the same specimens. This article reviews different aspects of the enterprise, including the foundations of synchrotron radiation, coherence and of its role in advanced imaging, electron accelerators, x-ray optics and detectors. This will provide the foundation for an extensive presentation of the different components of SYNAPSE, with an overview of results already obtained within the consortium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-60
Number of pages60
JournalPhysics Reports
StatePublished - 9 Feb 2023


  • Brain mapping
  • Phase contrast
  • Radiology
  • Supercomputing
  • Synchrotron
  • X-rays


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