Comparing x-ray phase-contrast imaging using a Talbot array illuminator to propagation-based imaging for non-homogeneous biomedical samples

Sci Rep. 2023 Apr 28;13(1):6996. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-33788-7.


Phase-contrast computed tomography can visualize soft tissue samples with high contrast. At coherent sources, propagation-based imaging (PBI) techniques are among the most common, as they are easy to implement and produce high-resolution images. Their downside is a low degree of quantitative data due to simplifying assumptions of the sample properties in the reconstruction. These assumptions can be avoided, by using quantitative phase-contrast techniques as an alternative. However, these often compromise spatial resolution and require complicated setups. In order to overcome this limitation, we designed and constructed a new imaging setup using a 2D Talbot array illuminator as a wavefront marker and speckle-based imaging phase-retrieval techniques. We developed a post-processing chain that can compensate for wavefront marker drifts and that improves the overall sensitivity. By comparing two measurements of biomedical samples, we demonstrate that the spatial resolution of our setup is comparable to the one of PBI scans while being able to successfully image a sample that breaks the typical homogeneity assumption used in PBI.

PMID:37117518 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-33788-7


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