Development of ultrafast laser-based x-ray in-vivo phase-contrast micro-CT beamline for biomedical applications at Advanced Laser Light Source (ALLS)

Russell Kincaid, Andrzej Krol, Sylvain Fourmaux, Jean Claude Kieffer, Cristina Serbanescu, Marina Servol, Levon Vogelsang, Steve Wilkins, Andrew Stevenson, Yakov Nesterets, Edward Lipson, Hongwei Ye, Andrew Pogany

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


We are developing and exploring the imaging performance of, an in vivo, in-line holography, x-ray phase-contrast, micro-CT system with an ultrafast laser-based x-ray (ULX) source. By testing and refining our system, and by performing computer simulations, we plan to improve system performance in terms of contrast resolution and multi-energy imaging to a level beyond what can be obtained using a conventional microfocal x-ray tube. Initial CT projection sets at single energy (Mo Kα and Kβ lines) were acquired in the Fresnel regime and reconstructed for phantoms and a euthanized mouse. We also performed computer simulations of phase-contrast micro-CT scans for low-contrast, soft-tissue, tumor imaging. We determined that, in order to perform a phase-contrast, complete micro-CT scan using ULX, the following conditions must be met: (i) the x-ray source needs to be stable during the scan; (ii) the laser focal spot size needs to be less than 10 μm for source-to-object distance greater than 30 cm; (iii) the laser light intensity on the target needs to be in the range of 5 × 1017 to 5 × 1019 W/cm2; (iv) the ablation protection system needs to allow uninterrupted scans; (v) the laser light focusing on the target needs to remain accurate during the entire scan; (vi) a fresh surface of the target must be exposed to consecutive laser shots during the entire scan; (vii) the effective detector element size must be less than 12 μm. Based on the results obtained in this research project, we anticipate that the new 10 Hz, 200 TW laser with 50W average power that is being commissioned at ALLS will allow us practical implementation of in vivo x-ray phase-contrast micro-CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography VI
StatePublished - 2008
EventDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography VI - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 12 2008Aug 14 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography VI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • In vivo micro-CT
  • In-line holography
  • Tumor imaging
  • Ultrafast laser-based x-ray source
  • X-ray phase-contrast imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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