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Research Area C.1

Coherent nano-CTuses multiple coherent X-ray diffraction images (indicated on the left) to compute a high-resolution three-dimensional digital image of the sample. Applied in osteology, the process helps to visualise the fine network of channels about 100 nanometers in size, through which bone cells connect with each other

Biomedical physics and technology

Since its discovery more than a hundred years ago, X-radiation has become an indispensable tool in diagnostics. Despite its huge success, for example in imaging bone structure, X-ray diagnostics ultimately reaches its limits in the examination of soft tissue such as tumours in healthy tissue.

Our long-term goal in MAP is the development of conceptually new approaches for biomedical X-ray imaging and therapy which explicitly makes use of the high brilliance of compact laser-driven X-ray sources. These efforts include new approaches for X-ray nanoscopy and nano-tomography, improved contrast modalities for pre-clinical X-ray imaging applications and image processing algorithms.
The proposed activities range from fundamental research using state-of-the-art, large-scale X-ray synchrotron sources (e.g. PETRA III & ESRF) over applications at laser-driven compact X-ray sources being developed in Research Area A.3 (Laser-based high-energy particle and x-ray sources) to applied research and technology transfer projects aiming at the creation of improved biomedical device technology for clinical use. From a medical perspective, our work currently targets early cancer and osteoporosis diagnostics.

Main objectives for 2012-2017:

a) Development of soft-X-ray high-resolution sub-cellular microscopy based on brilliant laser-driven higher harmonic sources

b) Development of hard-X-ray coherent nano-tomography for high-resolution visualisation of 3D tumour and pathologic bone morphology

c) Demonstration of earlier tumour detection in-vivo small-animal models by using phase-contrast computed tomography at compact X-ray sources

d) Exploration of dark-field radiography and computer vector tomography for improved osteoporosis diagnostics

e) Implementation of advanced image reconstruction and visualisation algorithms for brilliant X-ray diagnostics and therapy

Coordinator