Investigations on X-ray luminescence CT for small animal imaging.
X-ray Luminescence CT (XLCT) is a hybrid imaging modality combining x-ray and optical imaging in which x-ray luminescent nanophosphors (NPs) are used as emissive imaging probes. NPs are easily excited using common CT energy x-ray beams, and the NP luminescence is efficiently collected using sensitive light based detection systems. XLCT can be recognized as a close analog to fluorescence diffuse optical tomography (FDOT). However, XLCT has remarkable advantages over FDOT due to the substantial excitation penetration depths provided by x-rays relative to laser light sources, long term photo-stability of NPs, and the ability to tune NP emission within the NIR spectral window. Since XCLT uses an x-ray pencil beam excitation, the emitted light can be measured and back-projected along the x-ray path during reconstruction, where the size of the X-ray pencil beam determines the resolution for XLCT. In addition, no background signal competes with NP luminescence (i.e., no auto fluorescence) in XLCT. Currently, no small animal XLCT system has been proposed or tested. This paper investigates an XLCT system built and integrated with a dual source micro-CT system. Two novel sampling paradigms that result in more efficient scanning are proposed and tested via simulations. Our preliminary experimental results in phantoms indicate that a basic CT-like reconstruction is able to recover a map of the NP locations and differences in NP concentrations. With the proposed dual source system and faster scanning approaches, XLCT has the potential to revolutionize molecular imaging in preclinical studies.
Badea, CT; Stanton, IN; Johnston, SM; Johnson, GA; Therien, MJ
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