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Sensitivity comparison of absorption and grating-based phase tomography of paraffin-embedded human brain tissue

DOI: 10.1063/1.5085302 DOI Help

Authors: Christos Bikis (University of Basel) , Griffin Rodgers (University of Basel) , Hans Deyhle (University of Basel) , Peter Thalmann (University of Basel) , Alexander Hipp (Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht) , Felix Beckmann (Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht) , Timm Weitkamp (Synchrotron Soleil) , Stamatios Theocharis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) , Christoph Rau (Diamond Light Source) , Georg Schulz (University of Basel) , Bert Muller (University of Basel)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Applied Physics Letters , VOL 114

State: Published (Approved)
Published: February 2019
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 19829

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Advances in high-resolution hard X-ray computed tomography have led to the field of virtual histology to complement histopathological analyses. Phase-contrast modalities have been favored because, for soft tissues, the real part of the refractive index is orders of magnitude greater than the imaginary part. Nevertheless, absorption-contrast measurements of paraffin-embedded tissues have provided exceptionally high contrast combined with a submicron resolution. In this work, we present a quantitative comparison of phase tomography using synchrotron radiation-based X-ray double grating interferometry and conventional synchrotron radiation-based computed tomography in the context of histopathologically relevant paraffin-embedded human brain tissue. We determine the complex refractive index and compare the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of each modality, accounting for the spatial resolution and optimizing the photon energy for absorption tomography. We demonstrate that the CNR in the phase modality is 1.6 times higher than the photon-energy optimized and spatial resolution-matched absorption measurements. We predict, however, that a further optimized phase tomography will provide a CNR gain of 4. This study seeks to boost the discussion of the relative merits of phase and absorption modalities in the context of paraffin-embedded tissues for virtual histology, highlighting the importance of optimization procedures for the two complementary modes and the trade-off between spatial and density resolution, not to mention the disparity in data acquisition and processing.

Journal Keywords: Interferometry; Tomography; Hard X-rays; Neuroanatomy; Synchrotron radiation

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Technique Development

Instruments: I13-2-Diamond Manchester Imaging

Other Facilities: PETRA III, DESY