An investigation of the potential of optical computed tomography for imaging of synchrotron-generated x-rays at high spatial resolution

Simon J. Doran, Thierry Brochard, John Adamovics, Nikola Krstajic, Elke Braeuer-Krisch

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20 Citations (Scopus)


X-ray microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) is a novel form of treatment, currently in its preclinical stage, which uses microplanar x-ray beams from a synchrotron radiation source. It is important to perform accurate dosimetry on these microbeams, but, to date, there has been no accurate enough method available for making 3D dose measurements with isotropic, high spatial resolution to verify the results of Monte Carlo dose simulations. Here, we investigate the potential of optical computed tomography for satisfying these requirements. The construction of a simple optical CT microscopy (optical projection tomography) system from standard commercially available hardware is described. The measurement of optical densities in projection data is shown to be highly linear (r(2) = 0.999). The depth-of-field (DOF) of the imaging system is calculated based on the previous literature and measured experimentally using a commercial DOF target. It is shown that high quality images can be acquired despite the evident lack of telecentricity and despite DOF of the system being much lower than the sample diameter. Possible reasons for this are discussed. Results are presented for a complex irradiation of a 22 mm diameter cylinder of the radiochromic polymer PRESAGE (TM), demonstrating the exquisite 'dose-painting' abilities available in the MRT hutch of beamline ID-17 at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. Dose distributions in this initial experiment are equally well resolved on both an optical CT scan and a corresponding transmission image of radiochromic film, down to a line width of 83 mu m (6 lp mm(-1)) with an MTF value of 0.40. A group of 33 mu m wide lines was poorly resolved on both the optical CT and film images, and this is attributed to an incorrect exposure time calculation, leading to under-delivery of dose. Image artefacts in the optical CT scan are discussed. PRESAGE (TM) irradiated using the microbeam facility is proposed as a suitable material for producing phantom samples for quantitative characterization of optical CT microscopy systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1531-1547
Number of pages17
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2010


  • BEAM
  • CT


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