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Associate Professor Marcus Kitchen is an academic in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University. He develops novel X-ray imaging systems to quantitatively measure the internal structure and function of objects to provide information that cannot be provided by conventional radiography. Imaging techniques include Phase Contrast Imaging, Computed Tomography, Compton Scatter Imaging, Angiography and Temporal Subtraction Imaging. Dr Kitchen's imaging advances involve development of X-ray optics theory, numerical simulation and experimental validation using synchrotron radiation and micro-focus X-ray sources. More details about X-ray Imaging Research at Monash University can be found here.

Main Research Areas:

  • Phase Contrast X-ray Imaging - X-rays refract (bend) by very small angles when they pass through materials. By using coherent X-ray sources combined with optical elements, the refraction can provide greatly enhanced image contrast and resolution. A/Prof. Kitchen develops such techniques for seeing that which is normally invisible using radiography.
  • Compton Scatter Imaging - X-rays scatter as they pass through materials. A/Prof. Kitchen is developing techniques to collection this radiation to provide information about the sample that cannot be collected in a conventional radiograph.
  • Ultra-Low Radiation Dose Imaging - A/Prof. Kitchen is developing Phase Contrast Imaging and Compton Scatter Imaging modalities that enable the radiation dose to be reduced by factors into the tens of thousands.
  • Lung Imaging - Air in the lungs provides the greatest change in electron density in the tissues of  mammalian bodies, which results in high contrast imaging using Phase Contrast and Compton Scatter Imaging.  A/Prof. Kitchen is collaborating with researchers from the Hudson Institute to use X-ray imaging to better understand the mechanisms by which the lungs aerate at birth, which is critical to the survival of all newborns. Insight into this complex process has enabled medical doctors to provide better care for infants born preterm with under-developed lungs, thereby increasing their survival rate. 
  • Brain Imaging - A/Prof. Kitchen is using Phase Contrast Computed Tomography to greatly improve the contrast of brain matter compared to conventional Computed Tomography, at much higher spatial resolution than Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Research is ongoing to assess the diagnostic capablities of Phase Contrast Imaging. 
  • Material Discrimination - Conventional X-ray imaging provides limited information about the chemical composition of materials. A/Prof. is developing robust techniques for quantitatively discriminating objects based on their atomic makeup.
  • Translation towards clinical and industrial application - A/Prof. Kitchen has developed many of his techniques using synchrotron radiation. He is now developing this work for main-stream use with compact micro-focus X-ray sources.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research area keywords

  • X-ray Physics
  • Biomedical imaging
  • Biomedical Research, Multidisciplinary
  • Optics

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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