An important challenge in real-world biomedical applications of x-ray phase contrast imaging (XPCI) techniques is the efficient use of the photon flux generated by an incoherent and polychromatic x-ray source. This efficiency can directly influence dose and exposure time and ideally should not affect the superior contrast and sensitivity of XPCI. In this paper, we present a quantitative evaluation of the photon detection efficiency of two laboratory-based XPCI methods, grating interferometry (GI) and coded-aperture (CA). We adopt a Monte Carlo approach to simulate existing prototypes of those systems, tailored for mammography applications. Our simulations were validated by means of a simple experiment performed on a CA XPCI system. Our results show that the fraction of detected photons in the standard energy range of mammography are about 1.4% and 10% for the GI and CA techniques, respectively. The simulations indicate that the design of the optical components plays an important role in the higher efficiency of CA compared to the GI method. It is shown that the use of lower absorbing materials as the substrates for GI gratings can improve its flux efficiency by up to four times. Along similar lines, we also show that an optimized and compact configuration of GI could lead to a 3.5 times higher fraction of detected counts compared to a standard and non-optimised GI implementation.
- Monte Carlo simulation
- photon detection efficiency
- x-ray phase contrast imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging