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Making Benchtop X-Ray Fluorescence Computed Tomography (XFCT) Practical for in Vivo Imaging by Integration of a Dedicated High-Performance X-Ray Source in Conjunction with Micro-CT Functionality

N Manohar

N Manohar1*, F Reynoso1,2 , S Cho1 , (1) UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, (2) Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO


TH-AB-209-1 (Thursday, August 4, 2016) 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM Room: 209

Purpose: To make benchtop x-ray fluorescence computed tomography (XFCT) practical for routine preclinical imaging tasks with gold nanoparticles (GNPs) by deploying, integrating, and characterizing a dedicated high-performance x-ray source and addition of simultaneous micro-CT functionality.

Methods: Considerable research effort is currently under way to develop a polychromatic benchtop cone-beam XFCT system capable of imaging GNPs by stimulation and detection of gold K-shell x-ray fluorescence (XRF) photons. Recently, an ad hoc high-power x-ray source was incorporated and used to image the biodistribution of GNPs within a mouse, postmortem. In the current work, a dedicated x-ray source system featuring a liquid-cooled tungsten-target x-ray tube (max 160 kVp, ~3 kW power) was deployed. The source was operated at 125 kVp, 24 mA. The tube’s compact dimensions allowed greater flexibility for optimizing both the irradiation and detection geometries. Incident x-rays were shaped by a conical collimator and filtered by 2 mm of tin. A compact “OEM” cadmium-telluride x-ray detector was implemented for detecting XRF/scatter spectra. Additionally, a flat panel detector was installed to allow simultaneous transmission CT imaging. The performance of the system was characterized by determining the detection limit (10-second acquisition time) for inserts filled with water/GNPs at various concentrations (0 and 0.010-1.0 wt%) and embedded in a small-animal-sized phantom. The phantom was loaded with 0.5, 0.3, and 0.1 wt% inserts and imaged using XFCT and simultaneous micro-CT.

Results: An unprecedented detection limit of 0.030 wt% was experimentally demonstrated, with a 33% reduction in acquisition time. The reconstructed XFCT image accurately localized the imaging inserts. Micro-CT imaging did not provide enough contrast to distinguish imaging inserts from the phantom under the current conditions.

Conclusion: The system is immediately capable of in vivo preclinical XFCT imaging with GNPs. Micro-CT imaging will require optimization of irradiation parameters to improve contrast.

Supported by NIH/NCI grant R01CA155446

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: This investigation was supported by NIH/NCI grant R01CA155446

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