Advanced Medical Imaging Reconstruction Using Distributed X-ray Sources

4 November 2016
Gil travish

Currently all medical x-ray imaging is performed using point-like sources which produce cone or fan beams. In planar radiology the source is fixed relative to the patient and detector array and therefore only 2D images can be produced. In CT imaging, the source and detector are rotated about the patient and through reconstruction (such as Radon methods), a 3D image can be formed. In Tomosynthesis, a limited range of angles are captured which greatly reduces the complexity and cost of the device and the dose exposure to the patient while largely preserving the clinical utility of the 3D images. Conventional tomosynthesis relies on mechanically moving a source about a fixed trajectory (e.g. an arc) and capturing multiple images along that path. Adaptix is developing a fixed source with an electronically addressable array that allows for a motion-free tomosynthesis system. The Adaptix approach has many advantages including reduced cost, portability, angular information acquired in 2D, and the ability to shape the radiation field (by selectively activating only certain emitters).

The proposed work would examine the effects of patient motion and apply suitable corrections to the image reconstruction (or raw data). Many approaches have been considered in the literature for motion correction, and only some of these may be of use in tomosynthesis. The study will consider which approaches are optimal, and apply them to the present geometry.

A related but perhaps distinct area of investigation is the use of “structured light” techniques to encode the x-rays and extract additional information from the imaging. Most conventional structured light approaches are not suitable for transmissive operation nor for the limited control available in x-rays. Selection of appropriate techniques and algorithms, however, could prove very powerful and yield new ways of performing medical imaging.

Adaptix is a start-up based at the Begbroke Centre for Innovation and Enterprise. Adaptix is transforming planar X-ray – the diagnostic imaging modality most widely used in healthcare worldwide. We are adding low-dose 3D capability – digital tomosynthesis - to planar X-ray while making it more affordable and truly portable so radiology can more easily travel to the patient. This transformation will enhance patient’s access to the world’s most important imaging technologies and likely increases the diagnostic accuracy for many high incidence conditions such as cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, lung cancer and osteoporosis. 

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