Talbot-Lau X-ray phase contrast for tiling-based acquisitions without reference scanning

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Abstract

Purpose

Grating-based Talbot-Lau interferometers are a popular choice for phase-contrast X-ray acquisitions. Here, an air reference scan has to be acquired prior to an object scan. This particularly complicates acquisition of large objects: large objects are tiled into multiple scans due to the small field of view of current gratings. However, phase reference drifts occurring between these scans may require to repeatedly move the object in and out of the X-ray beam to update the reference information.

Methods

We developed an image processing technique that completely removes the need for phase reference scans in tiled acquisitions. We estimate the reference from object scans using a tailored iterated robust regression, using a novel efficient optimizer.

Results

Our evaluation indicates that the estimated reference is not only close to the acquired reference but also improves the final image quality. We hypothesize that this is because we mitigate errors that are introduced when actually acquiring the reference phase.

Conclusion

Phase-contrast imaging of larger objects may benefit from computational estimation of phase reference data due to reduced scanning complexity and improved image quality.

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