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X-rays are commonly used as a means to image the inside of objects opaque to visible light, as their short wavelength allows penetration through matter and the formation of high spatial resolution images. This physical effect has found particular importance in medicine where x-ray based imaging is routinely used as a diagnostic tool. Increasingly, however, imaging modalities that provide functional as well as morphological information are required. In this study the potential to use x-ray phase based imaging as a functional modality through the use of microbubbles that can be targeted to specific biological processes is explored. We show that the concentration of a microbubble suspension can be monitored quantitatively whilst in flow using x-ray phase contrast imaging. This could provide the basis for a dynamic imaging technique that combines the tissue penetration, spatial resolution, and high contrast of x-ray phase based imaging with the functional information offered by targeted imaging modalities.

Original publication




Journal article


Sci rep

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Contrast Media, Diagnostic Imaging, Humans, Microbubbles, Phantoms, Imaging, X-Rays