Small Animal Spectral Imaging
Cancer research, bio-mechanics, drug testing are just few examples where X-ray imaging contributes to the research in biology and medicine. Until recent, synchotrons were typically the place to go to do much of this imaging. Nowadays, the photon counting detectors start changing this stereotype. The energy sensitivity of modern cameras further opens possibilities to better identify individual types of tissue. That has important consequences for example in the cancer research as the tumor tissue can be better distinguished from the healthy one.
The high sensitivity of photon counting detectors to low energy photons predetermines them for imaging of low X-ray attenuating objects, i.e. light objects, such as tissue. Therefore, these detectors are ideal for the bio-related applications. The low X-ray energy sensitivity (starting from ~3 keV) together with the high dynamic range allows revealing features in samples that remained hidden to other types of X-ray imaging detectors.
Material discriminating spectral imaging of a mouse. Colours represent different tissue types.
Spectral Computed Tomography
The spectral radiography can be extended to 3D by means of computed tomography. It enables recognizing different types of tissue in 3D. This level of information is important for example in cancer treatment research as it gives better data for irradiation planning.
Spectral computed tomography slices where each colour represents a tissue type.