From the nanoscale into clinics: cutting-edge phase contrast X-ray imaging

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 3:00pm

Speaker: Stampanoni, ETH Zürich and Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland

Program Description

The tremendous photon density reached by coherent beams at third-generation synchrotron facilities has pushed X-ray imaging to the level of X-ray microscopy and further to tomographic microscopy, a technique able to generate volumetric (3D) information from a sample in a non-destructive manner at micro- and nanometer scale. Certainly, the most relevant characteristic of coherent beams is their intrinsic capability of generating interference signals and, as a consequence, to provide access to phase information in the investigated sample. This property is particularly useful when imaging poorly absorbing specimens, like biological tissue.  The Swiss Light Source (SLS) at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland operates TOMCAT, a beamline dedicated to Tomographic Microscopy and Coherent radiology experimenTs. This beamline provides cutting-edge equipment for tomographic experiment and in particular offers the necessary instrumentation for phase contrast imaging at spatial resolution ranging over three orders of magnitude and a time frequency higher than 1 Hz for a whole 3D data set. Recently, as a result of our translational imaging activities, we successfully carried out the first phase-contrast enhanced mammography clinical study on humans, using a conventional X-ray source. Supported by scientific cases,  this talk will illustrate the methods implemented to record phase contrast 2D and 3D data sets at spatial resolutions ranging from single cells (100 nm), tiny samples (1 micron), small animals (10 microns) up to  humans (100 microns) .

From the nanoscale into clinics: cutting-edge phase contrast X-ray imaging
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