Exploring experimental parameter choice for rapid speckle-tracking phase-contrast X-ray imaging with a paper analyzer

Isobel A. Aloisio, David Paganin, Christopher Wright, Kaye Morgan

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Phase-contrast X-ray imaging using a paper analyzer enables the visualization of X-ray transparent biological structures using the refractive properties of the sample. The technique measures the sample-induced distortions of a spatially random reference pattern to retrieve quantitative sample information. This phase-contrast method is promising for biomedical application due to both a simple experimental set-up and a capability for real-time imaging. The authors explore the experimental configuration required to achieve robustness and accuracy in terms of (i) the paper analyzer feature size, (ii) the sample-to-detector distance, and (iii) the exposure time. Results using a synchrotron source confirm that the technique achieves accurate phase retrieval with a range of paper analyzers and at exposures as short as 0.5-14;ms. These exposure times are sufficiently short relative to characteristic physiological timescales to enable real-time dynamic imaging of living samples. A theoretical guide to the choice of sample-to-detector distance is also derived. While the measurements are specific to the set-up, these guidelines, the example speckle images, the strategies for analysis in the presence of noise and the experimental considerations and discussion will be of value to those who wish to use the speckle-tracking paper analyzer technique.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1279-1288
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Synchrotron Radiation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • Phase contrast
  • Phase retrieval
  • Speckle imaging
  • X-ray imaging

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