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Acoustic radiation pressure: A “phase contrast” agent for x-ray phase contrast imaging

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4 Author(s)
Bailat, Claude J. ; Department of Chemistry, Brown University Providence, Rhode Island 02912 ; Hamilton, Theron J. ; Rose-Petruck, Christoph ; Diebold, Gerald J.

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We show that the radiation pressure exerted by a beam of ultrasound can be used for contrast enhancement in high-resolution x-ray imaging of tissue and soft materials. Interfacial features of objects are highlighted as a result of both the displacement introduced by the ultrasound and the inherent sensitivity of x-ray phase contrast imaging to density variations. The potential of the method is demonstrated by imaging microscopic tumor phantoms embedded into tissue with a thickness typically presented in mammography. The detection limit of micrometer size masses exceeds the resolution of currently available mammography imaging systems. The directionality of the acoustic radiation force and its localization in space permits the imaging of ultrasound-selected tissue volumes. The results presented here suggest that the method may permit the detection of tumors in soft tissue in their early stage of development.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:85 ,  Issue: 19 )