Joyoni Dey Awarded U.S. Patent to Improve Detection of Breast Cancer

diagram of Modulated Phase Grating
Modulated Phase Grating (black, left) creating visible patterns on detector (green, right). The diagram is not to scale. Xu, Ham, Dey, JMI, 7(2), 2020

Associate Professor Joyoni Dey, together with colleagues in the J. Bennett Johnston, Sr. Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD), Department of Chemistry and Department of Physics & Astronomy, has received a U.S. Patent to be issued on Dec 22, 2020. “Phase-Contrast X-Ray Interferometry,” U.S. Patent No. 10872708, features Dey as the primary inventor of modulated phase gratings to produce visible x-ray interference fringes in clinical detectors without requiring an expensive fluence-absorbing analyzer.

“The impact of this invention is illustrated in a possible application of using the X-ray interferometry technology for mammography to detect breast cancer,” Dey said. “Using the modulated phase grating, clinicians won’t need the expensive absorbing analyzer typically required for x-ray interferometers. This way, the amount of radiation, or dose, can be lowered to that equivalent of conventional mammography. Note that phase-contrast x-ray provides phase as well as small-angle scatter information, which sets it apart from conventional x-ray attenuation images. These multiple modalities obtained with the same dose in a single scan will provide tremendous clinical benefits and are expected to improve specificity and sensitivity of pathology detection.”

Dey and PhD graduate Jingzhu Xu investigated the concept in simulations. Dey, her graduate students and co-investigator Dr. Kyungmin Ham are further pursuing the idea in the context of breast cancer mammography with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH, NIBIB program) Trail-blazer R21 grant "Breast Cancer Detection and Imaging using Analyzer-less X-ray Interferometry," which Dey was awarded in July 2020.

Link: “Phase-Contrast X-Ray Interferometry,” U.S. Patent No. 10872708, J. Dey, N. Bhusal, L. Butler, J.P. Dowling, K. Ham, V. Singh, December 22, 2020


Mimi LaValle
LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy