Researchers have significantly improved micro-computed tomography, specifically imaging with phase contrast and high brilliance x-ray radiation. They have developed a new micro-structured optical grating and combined it with new analytical algorithms. The new approach makes it possible to depict and analyze the microstructures of samples in greater detail and investigate a broad spectrum of samples.
Micro-computed tomography is an imaging method that generates detailed three-dimensional images of the internal structure of samples with small dimensions. Researchers in biology, medicine, or material sciences can use this method to obtain information on the structure and characteristics of tissue and material samples, which are essential in diagnoses and other analyses.
In micro-computed tomography, x-ray images are reconstructed to form a three-dimensional image. Depending on the sample, different x-ray imaging methods are used to achieve the most accurate depiction possible. Here, the key parameters are resolution, contrast, and the method’s sensitivity.
X-ray imaging with phase contrast is particularly well-suited for investigating soft tissue. The method employs the refraction of the x-rays caused by the sample’s structures to obtain contrast for these structures and thus to depict soft tissue in greater detail than is possible with conventional x-ray methods. In many phase-contrast methods, optical components modulate the x-rays on their way to the detector, resulting in what is referred to as a diffraction pattern at the detector.