Imaging of cochlear tissue with a grating interferometer and hard X-rays

Authors

  • Claus-Peter Richter,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 60611
    2. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208
    3. Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, The Hugh Knowles Center, Evanston, Illinois 60208
    • Department of Otolaryngology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Searle Building 12-470, 303 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-3008, USA
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  • Stephanie Shintani-Smith,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 60611
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  • Andrew Fishman,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 60611
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  • Christian David,

    1. Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology, Paul Scherrer Institut, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
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  • Ian Robinson,

    1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom
    2. Diamond Light Source Ltd., Diamond House, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0DE, United Kingdom
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  • Christoph Rau

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 60611
    2. Diamond Light Source Ltd., Diamond House, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0DE, United Kingdom
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Abstract

This article addresses an important current development in medical and biological imaging: the possibility of imaging soft tissue at resolutions in the micron range using hard X-rays. Challenging environments, including the cochlea, require the imaging of soft tissue structure surrounded by bone. We demonstrate that cochlear soft tissue structures can be imaged with hard X-ray phase contrast. Furthermore, we show that only a thin slice of the tissue is required to introduce a large phase shift. It is likely that the phase contrast image of the soft tissue structures is sufficient to image the structures even if surrounded by bone. For the present set of experiments, structures with low-absorption contrast have been visualized using in-line phase contrast imaging and a grating interferometer. The experiments have been performed at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratories, a third generation source of synchrotron radiation. The source provides highly coherent X-ray radiation with high-photon flux (>1012 photons/s) at high-photon energies (5–70 keV). Radiographic and light microscopy images of the gerbil cochlear slice samples were compared. It has been determined that a 20-μm thick tissue slice induces a phase shift between 1/3π and 2/3π. Microsc. Res. Tech., 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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