Small Animal Spectral Imaging
Cancer research, bio-mechanics, and drug testing are just a few examples of where X-ray imaging contributes to research in biology and medicine. New photon counting detectors represent a serious advancement for these applications, compared to previously used synchrotrons. The energy sensitivity of modern cameras opens better possibilities to identify individual types of tissue. That has important consequences in various industries, for example cancer research, where the tumor tissue can be better distinguished from the healthy one.
The high sensitivity of photon counting detectors to low energy photons makes them useful for imaging low X-ray attenuating objects (i.e. light objects, such as tissue.) Thus, these detectors are ideal for bio-related applications. The low X-ray energy sensitivity (starting from ~3 keV) together with the high dynamic range reveals features in samples that remain 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. This makes it possible to recognize different types of tissue in real form. Again, this level of information is can be incredibly helpful for cancer treatment research, as it gives better data for irradiation planning.
Spectral computed tomography slices where each colour represents a tissue type.