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Phys Med Biol. 2010 Sep 21;55(18):5383-400. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/55/18/008. Epub 2010 Aug 24.

Low-dose x-ray phase-contrast and absorption CT using equally sloped tomography.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Tomographic reconstruction from undersampled and noisy projections is often desirable in transmission CT modalities for purposes of low-dose tomography and fast acquisition imaging. However under such conditions, due to the violation of the Nyquist sampling criteria and the presence of noise, reconstructions with acceptable accuracy may not be possible. Recent experiments in transmission electron tomography and coherent diffraction microscopy have shown that the technique of equally sloped tomography (EST), an exact tomographic method utilizing an oversampling iterative Fourier-based reconstruction, provides more accurate image reconstructions when the number of projections is significantly undersampled relative to filtered back projection and algebraic iterative methods. Here we extend this technique by developing new reconstruction algorithms which allow for the incorporation of advanced mathematical regularization constraints, such as the nonlocal means total variational model, in a manner that is consistent with experimental projections. We then evaluate the resulting image quality of the developed algorithm through simulations and experiments at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility on image quality phantoms using the x-ray absorption and phase contrast CT modalities. Both our simulation and experimental results have indicated that the method can reduce the number of projections by 60-75% in parallel beam modalities, while achieving comparable or better image quality than the conventional reconstructions. As large-scale and compact synchrotron radiation facilities are currently under rapid development worldwide, the implementation of low-dose x-ray absorption and phase-contrast CT can find broad applications in biology and medicine using these advanced x-ray sources.

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