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SCATter computed TOmography of the Breast: "in vitro" tests and assessment of clinical feasibility


The research regards the application of computed tomography to breast scatter imaging for the design of a pre-clinical prototype. The technique is based on the possibility of discriminating normal and neoplastic breast tissue due to their different scattering properties. Hence, it is possible to obtain complementary information with respect to transmission imaging by detecting scattered rather than transmitted radiation.

A combination of scatter imaging and computed tomography would provide images with both high contrast and three-dimensional information. Polychromatic and quasi-monochromatic X-ray spectra, the latter obtained by means of a pyrolytic graphite mosaic crystal, would be characterized and used. Images of test objects and of breast tissue samples would be acquired by means of a custom designed set-up, including an X-ray tube, a removable pyrolytic graphite mosaic crystal, a collimation system and a detection device, consisting of one or more detectors for transmission and scatter acquisitions.

The most suitable configuration of the system for clinical applications would be determined depending upon image quality, acquisition time and delivered dose. CT reconstruction algorithms and registration techniques would be studied and compared by applying t hem initially to simulated data and later to acquired data. The research would provide the specifications for a pre-clinical set-up for in vivo imaging that would be designed at the end of the work.

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Gower Street
United Kingdom