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Proceedings Paper

Evaluation of a photon-counting x-ray imaging detector based on microchannel plates for mammography applications
Author(s): Polad M. Shikhaliev; Tong Xu; Sabee Molloi
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Paper Abstract

Experimental prototype of a photon counting scanning slit X-ray imaging system is being evaluated for potential application in digital mammography. This system is based on a recently developed and tested “edge-on” illuminated Microchannel Plate (MCP) detector. The MCP detectors are well known for providing a combination of capabilities such as direct conversion, physical charge amplification, pulse counting, high spatial and temporal resolution, and very low noise. However, their application for medical imaging was hampered by their low detection efficiency. This limitation was addressed using an “edge-on” illumination mode for MCP. The current experimental prototype was developed to investigate the imaging performance of this detector concept for digital mammography. The current prototype provides a 60 mm field of view, 200 kHz count rate with 20% non-paralysable dead time and >7 lp/mm limiting resolution. A 0.3 mm focal spot W target X-ray tube was used for image acquisition. The detector noise is 0.3 count/pixel for 50x50 micron pixels. The count rate of the current prototype is limited by the delay line readout electronics, which causes long scanning times (minutes) and high tube loading. This problem will be addressed using multichannel ASIC electronics for clinical implementation. However, the current readout architecture is adequate for evaluation of the performance parameters of the new detector concept. It is very simple and provides a maximum intrinsic resolution of 28 micron FWHM. The prototype was evaluated using resolution, contrast detail and breast Phantoms. The MTF and DQE of the system are being evaluated at different tube voltages. The design parameters of a scanning multiple slit mammography system are being evaluated. It is concluded that a photon counting, quantum limited and virtually scatter free digital mammography system can be developed based on the proposed detector.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 May 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5368, Medical Imaging 2004: Physics of Medical Imaging, (6 May 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.535476
Show Author Affiliations
Polad M. Shikhaliev, Univ. of California/Irvine (United States)
Tong Xu, Univ. of California/Irvine (United States)
Sabee Molloi, Univ. of California/Irvine (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5368:
Medical Imaging 2004: Physics of Medical Imaging
Martin J. Yaffe; Michael J. Flynn, Editor(s)

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