In vivo x-ray imaging of the respiratory system using synchrotron sources and a compact light source

Kaye Susannah Morgan, Regine Gradl, Martin Dierolf, Christoph Jud, Benedikt Günther, Freda Werdiger, Mark Gardner, Patricia Cmielewski, Alexandra McCarron, Nigel Farrow, Helena Haas, Melanie A. Kimm, Lin Yang, David Kutschke, Tobias Stoeger, Otmar Schmid, Klaus Achterhold, Franz Pfeiffer, David Parsons, Martin Donnelley

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Bright synchrotron x-ray sources enable imaging with short exposure times, and hence in a high-speed image sequence. These x-ray movies can capture not only sample structure, but also how the sample changes with time, how it functions. The use of a synchrotron x-ray source also provides high spatial coherence, which facilitates the capture of not only a conventional attenuation-based x-ray image, but also phase-contrast and dark-field signals. These signals are strongest from air/tissue interfaces, which means that they are particularly useful for examining the respiratory system. We have performed a range of x-ray imaging studies that look at lung function, airway surface function, inhaled and instilled treatment delivery, and treatment effect in live small animal models [Morgan, 2019]. These have utilized a range of optical set-ups and phase-contrast imaging methods in order to be sensitive to the relevant sample features, and be compatible with high-speed imaging. For example, we have used a grating interferometer to measure how the airsacs in the lung inflate during inhalation, via changes in the dark-field signal [Gradl, 2018], a single-exposure, single-grid set-up to capture changes in the liquid lining of the airways [Morgan, 2015] and propagation-based phase contrast to image clearance of inhaled debris [Donnelley, 2019]. Studies have also utilized a range of analysis methods to extract how the sample features change within a time-sequence of two-dimensional projections or three-dimensional volumes. While these imaging studies began in large-scale synchrotron facilities, we have recently performed these kinds of studies at an inverse-Compton-based compact synchrotron, the Munich Compact Light Source (MuCLS).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
Subtitle of host publicationDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography XII
EditorsBert Muller, Ge Wang
Place of PublicationBellingham WA USA
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781510629196
ISBN (Print)9781510629196
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2019
EventDevelopments in X-ray Tomography 2019 - San Diego, United States of America
Duration: 11 Aug 201915 Aug 2019
Conference number: 12th

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceDevelopments in X-ray Tomography 2019
CountryUnited States of America
CitySan Diego


  • Biomedical imaging
  • Respiratory imaging
  • Talbot-Lau grating interferometry
  • X-ray phase contrast

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