Institute for Photon Science and Synchrotron Radiation


Dose Efficient X-ray Phase-contrast Imaging for Soft Matter and Small Animal Imaging

CODE-VITA is focused towards the development of dose-efficient 2D to 4D in vivo X-ray imaging for small model organisms. There are two experimental approaches:

1) Propagation-based phase-contrast imaging based on novel single-distance quasi-particle phase retrieval algorithm for large z and strong phase objects [1]. Larger propagation distances increasingly release information at high frequencies at the same dose.


2) Bragg Magnifier crystal optics utilise asymmetric Bragg diffraction in single crystals (Si, Ge) to magnify the X-ray beam up to x200 at ~30 keV while retaining high coherence.

In combination with single photon counting detectors, this will allow dose-efficient imaging at pixel sizes down to 0.3 μm for in vivo imaging during developmental processes. Alternatively a second option using a Bragg Magnifier Conditioner (BMC) to expand the X-ray beam up to 6×6 cm² allows for imaging of entire organisms with high coherence (so-called beamline extender).

To realize these experiments the HiKA experimental station at PETRA III will be a key element. The setup will comprise Bragg Magnifier modules and a propagation based phase contrast imaging module based on conventional scintillators and CCD/CMOS cameras.

[1] F. Trost et al., Scient. Reports 7, 17706 (2017)

CODE-VITA is a collaboration with the University of Heidelberg, funded by the BMBF under grant number 05K16VH1.