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6 May 2004 Evaluation of a photon-counting x-ray imaging detector based on microchannel plates for mammography applications
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Experimental prototype of a photon counting scanning slit X-ray imaging system is being evaluated for potential application in digital mammography. This system is based on a recently developed and tested “edge-on” illuminated Microchannel Plate (MCP) detector. The MCP detectors are well known for providing a combination of capabilities such as direct conversion, physical charge amplification, pulse counting, high spatial and temporal resolution, and very low noise. However, their application for medical imaging was hampered by their low detection efficiency. This limitation was addressed using an “edge-on” illumination mode for MCP. The current experimental prototype was developed to investigate the imaging performance of this detector concept for digital mammography. The current prototype provides a 60 mm field of view, 200 kHz count rate with 20% non-paralysable dead time and >7 lp/mm limiting resolution. A 0.3 mm focal spot W target X-ray tube was used for image acquisition. The detector noise is 0.3 count/pixel for 50x50 micron pixels. The count rate of the current prototype is limited by the delay line readout electronics, which causes long scanning times (minutes) and high tube loading. This problem will be addressed using multichannel ASIC electronics for clinical implementation. However, the current readout architecture is adequate for evaluation of the performance parameters of the new detector concept. It is very simple and provides a maximum intrinsic resolution of 28 micron FWHM. The prototype was evaluated using resolution, contrast detail and breast Phantoms. The MTF and DQE of the system are being evaluated at different tube voltages. The design parameters of a scanning multiple slit mammography system are being evaluated. It is concluded that a photon counting, quantum limited and virtually scatter free digital mammography system can be developed based on the proposed detector.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Polad M. Shikhaliev, Tong Xu, and Sabee Molloi "Evaluation of a photon-counting x-ray imaging detector based on microchannel plates for mammography applications", Proc. SPIE 5368, Medical Imaging 2004: Physics of Medical Imaging, (6 May 2004);

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