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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G004250/1
Title: a novel phase contrast technique with the potential of revolutionizing x-ray imaging applications in medicine, biology, industry and security
Principal Investigator: Olivo, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
3D X-Ray Ltd Barts Health NHS Trust Canon Medical Research Europe Ltd
Guy's and St Thomas Hospital Trust Queen Mary University of London Sincrotrone Trieste SCpA
STFC Laboratories (Grouped) Teledyne UK Ltd University of Sheffield
X-Tek Systems
Department: Medical Physics and Biomedical Eng
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Career Acceleration Fellowship
Starts: 01 January 2009 Ends: 31 December 2013 Value (£): 839,910
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Image & Vision Computing Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
26 Jun 2008 Fellowship Allocation Panel Meeting Announced
10 Jun 2008 Fellowships 2008 Interviews - Panel F Deferred
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project aims at transferring an established synchrotron radiation (SR) technique with extremely high potential, X-ray phase contrast imaging (XPCI), into its practical application through the full development of a novel method devised by the fellow.Over the recent years, SR studies have demonstrated that XPCI could substantially change the face of X-ray imaging, as it would provide dramatic image improvements in fields as diverse as medicine, industry, security, scientific research and others.Early diagnosis of breast tumours, detection of faint lung lesions in planar images instead of CT scans, imaging of blood vessels without contrast agents, detection of microfractures and dilamination in composite materials are just a few examples of results obtained through SR XPCI which are currently not accessible by means of conventional x-ray imaging techniques.The problem so far is that XPCI was considered to be restricted to SR environments, which prevented its diffusion despite the impressive potentials. All XPCI techniques devised so far suffer when implemented with conventional sources, making its practical use substantially impossible.The applicant has recently devised a novel XPCI technique, based on the use of coded apertures, which solves most limitations of previous approaches. Proof-of-concept experiments have demonstrated beyond doubt that this new technique can provide results comparable to those obtained with SR while making use of diverging, polychromatic beams generated by conventional sources currently available off the shelf. As a consequence, this approach has the concrete potential to take XPCI out of SR environments and into its practical application for the first time. This would have an enormous impact both from the economic (the x-ray imaging market was estimated to be over 10B Euros already in 2005 - S. Rusckowski, CEO imaging systems, Philips) and the social point of view, as the general public would benefit from improved healthcare and security.The present project aims at achieving this important result through the development of the new XPCI technique. At the same time, it would target relevant application fields (breast imaging, plus others to be agreed with the end-users), and quantitatively assess the advantages that the new technique would bring in each of them.To achieve these objectives, the new method would be fully modelled by expanding simulation tools developed by the fellow during the proof-of-concept work. These models would be experimentally validated to guarantee reliability, and the output used to design an imaging prototype. On the basis of the resources available at the proposed host institution (two extra long optical tables plus two high-powered x-ray sources with different targets, and some detector prototypes), it would actually be possible to realize two separate prototypes, to target a wider range of applications. This imaging prototype(s) would then be thoroughly evaluated, and eventually used to image typical samples from the targeted applications. The analysis of these images, alongside the comparison with images of the same samples obtained with conventional systems, would allow the quantitative assessment of the advantages of the new technique on the targeted applications. In order to perform all tasks required by the above plan, the collaboration of ten partners from relevant fields have been sought. The appropriate input from physicians (two radiologists and a pathologist), detector developers (RAL, MI3), scientists with unique expertise in the field (ELETTRA, where the only in vivo station for mammography with SR XPCI has been built), and industrial companies active in related fields (Canon, e2v, X-Tek, 3DX-ray) has been secured and is documented through letters of support. To provide training to young scientist on the new topic and help the fellow on the everyday running of the project, the team would be completed by a PDRA and a PhD student.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL: http://www.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/research/acadradphys/researchactivities/pci.htm
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