High Energy X-ray Optics for Clinical Imaging

Dr. Leslie G. Butler of the Chemistry Department is PI on this project

Dr. Jost Göttert, Environmental and Biosensing Technology, Hochschule Niederrhein, University of Applied Sciences, Krefeld, Germany –visiting faculty


Project Summary

The value proposition is cost reduction of large-area, high energy X-ray grating optics.  Microfabricated X-ray grating optics have the potential to revolutionize clinical X-ray imaging by providing images with better contrast and reducing X-ray dose to the patient.  Recent work is showing improved monitoring of rheumatoid arthritis (stage III, clinical trials), better mammography images, and outstanding ability to detect lung collapse.  The low X-ray dose is accomplished by operation at high X-ray energy where the body is more transparent to X-rays.

Current X-ray optics use microfabricated single-side, gold-on-silicon wafers, with the periodicity of the gold structures extending across the entire wafer, a requirement of current data analysis algorithms.  The first pain point is the inability to fabricate large area gratings for high X-ray energy.

The PI has a non-provisional patent application under review (submitted December, 2015) describing a hardware/software combination for grating optic design and use at high X-ray energy.

The pain point, access to high energy, is addressed with microfabricated front/back gold-on-graphite with support structures spacing/orientation optimized according t our patent application.  A visiting professor has the expertise to develop new microfabrication methods.

Optic testing will be done at LSU and APS (Argonne).  We will loan optics to a leading researcher at NIH for the purpose of public demonstration.  Commercialization will be explored with XRE (Belgium) and Microworks (Germany).