Direct three-dimensional coherently scattered x-ray microtomography

Congwu Cui, Steven M. Jorgensen, Diane R. Eaker, Erik L. Ritman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: It has been shown that coherently scattered x rays can be used to discriminate and identify specific components in a mixture of low atomic weight materials. The authors demonstrated a new method of doing coherently scattered x-ray tomography with a thin sheet of x ray. Methods: A collimated x-ray fan-beam, a parallel polycapillary collimator, and a phantom consisting of several biocompatible materials of low attenuation-based contrast were used to investigate the feasibility of the method. Because of the particular experimental setup, only the phantom translation perpendicular to the x-ray beam is needed and, thus, there is no need of Radon-type tomographic reconstruction, except for the correction of the attenuation to the primary and scattered x rays, which was performed by using a conventional attenuation-based tomographic image data set. The coherent scatter image contrast changes with momentum transfer among component materials in the specimen were investigated with multiple x-ray sources with narrow bandwidth spectra generated with anode and filter combinations of Cu/Ni (8 keV), Mo/Zr (18 keV), and Ag/Pd (22 keV) and at multiple scatter angles by orienting the detector and polycapillary collimator at different angles to the illuminating x ray. Results: The contrast among different materials changes with the x-ray source energy and the angle at which the image was measured. The coherent scatter profiles obtained from the coherent scatter images are consistent with the published results. Conclusions: This method can be used to directly generate the three-dimensional coherent scatter images of small animal, biopsies, or other small objects with low atomic weight biological or similar synthetic materials with low attenuation contrast. With equipment optimized, submillimeter spatial resolution may be achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6317-6322
Number of pages6
JournalMedical physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • coherent x-ray scatter
  • computed tomography
  • energy-resolved x-ray detection
  • polycapillary x-ray optics
  • quasimonochromatic x-ray sources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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