From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2016
Rapid development of the X-ray phonon-counting detection technology brings tremendous research and application
opportunities. In addition to improvements in conventional X-ray imaging performance such as radiation dose utilization
and beam hardening correction, photon-counting detectors allows significantly more efficient X-ray fluorescence (XRF)
and K-edge imaging, and promises a great potential of X-ray functional, cellular and molecular imaging. XRF is the
characteristic emission of secondary X-ray photons from a material excited by initial X-rays. The phenomenon is widely
used for chemical and elemental analysis. K-edge imaging identifies a material based on its chemically-specific
absorption discontinuity over X-ray photon energy. In this paper, we try to combine XRF and K-edge signals from the
contrast agents (e.g., iodine, gadolinium, gold nanoparticles) to simultaneously realize XFCT and K-edge CT imaging
for superior image performance. As a prerequisite for this dual-modality imaging, the accurate energy calibration of
multi-energy-bin photon-counting detectors is critically important. With the measured XRF data of different materials,
we characterize the energy response function of a CZT detector for energy calibration and spectrum reconstruction,
which can effectively improve the energy resolution and decrease the inconsistence of the photon counting detectors.
Then, a simultaneous K-edge and X-ray fluorescence CT imaging (SKYFI) experimental setup is designed which
includes a cone-beam X-ray tube, two separate photon counting detector arrays, a pin-hole collimator and a rotation
stage. With a phantom containing gold nanoparticles the two types of XFCT and K-edge CT datasets are collected
simultaneously. Then, XFCT and K-edge CT images are synergistically reconstructed in a same framework. Simulation
results are presented and quantitative analyzed and compared with the separate XFCT and K-edge CT results.
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