Dual source hybrid spectral micro-CT using an energy-integrating and a photon-counting detector.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats


Citation Stats


Preclinical micro-CT provides a hotbed in which to develop new imaging technologies, including spectral CT using photon counting detector (PCD) technology. Spectral imaging using PCDs promises to expand x-ray CT as a functional imaging modality, capable of molecular imaging, while maintaining CT's role as a powerful anatomical imaging modality. However, the utility of PCDs suffers due to distorted spectral measurements, affecting the accuracy of material decomposition. We attempt to improve material decomposition accuracy using our novel hybrid dual-source micro-CT system which combines a PCD and an energy integrating detector. Comparisons are made between PCD-only and hybrid CT results, both reconstructed with our iterative, multi-channel algorithm based on the split Bregman method and regularized with rank-sparse kernel regression. Multi-material decomposition is performed post-reconstruction for separation of iodine (I), gold (Au), gadolinium (Gd), and calcium (Ca). System performance is evaluated first in simulations, then in micro-CT phantoms, and finally in an in vivo experiment with a genetically modified p53fl/fl mouse cancer model with Au, Gd, and I nanoparticle (NP)-based contrasts agents. Our results show that the PCD-only and hybrid CT reconstructions offered very similar spatial resolution at 10% MTF (PCD: 3.50 lp mm-1; hybrid: 3.47 lp mm-1) and noise characteristics given by the noise power spectrum. For material decomposition we note successful separation of the four basis materials. We found that hybrid reconstruction reduces RMSE by an average of 37% across all material maps when compared to PCD-only of similar dose but does not provide much difference in terms of concentration accuracy. The in vivo results show separation of targeted Au and accumulated Gd NPs in the tumor from intravascular iodine NPs and bone. Hybrid spectral micro-CT can benefit nanotechnology and cancer research by providing quantitative imaging to test and optimize various NPs for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Holbrook, MD, DP Clark and CT Badea (2020). Dual source hybrid spectral micro-CT using an energy-integrating and a photon-counting detector. Physics in medicine and biology, 65(20). p. 205012. 10.1088/1361-6560/aba8b2 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/24253.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Darin Clark

Assistant Professor in Radiology

Cristian Tudorel Badea

Professor in Radiology

  • Our lab's research focus lies primarily in developing novel quantitative imaging systems, reconstruction algorithms and analysis methods.  My major expertise is in preclinical CT.
  • Currently, we are particularly interested in developing novel strategies for spectral CT imaging using nanoparticle-based contrast agents for theranostics (i.e. therapy and diagnostics).
  • We are also engaged in developing new approaches for multidimensional CT image reconstruction suitable to address difficult undersampling cases in cardiac and spectral CT (dual energy and photon counting) using compressed sensing and/or deep learning.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.