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Title: Microbubbles as a quantitative contrast agent for X-ray phase contrast imaging
Author: Millard, T. P.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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Work presented in this thesis demonstrates how x-ray phase based imaging methods can be used to measure microbubble concentration. Experiments were first performed using a synchrotron analyser crystal based method to gain benchmark data, before testing with a laboratory based edge illumination method under development at University College London. A single-shot analyser based imaging method was also demonstrated at the synchrotron which gives the potential for time resolved imaging. If microbubbles are to be imaged in-vivo then they will likely be in flow within the circulatory system. To find how this impacts on detected signal a flow phantom was developed which can control fluid flow rate, and the flowing microbubble concentration. Synchrotron results are presented demonstrating how x-ray phase based imaging can be used to dynamically track changes in microbubble concentration. A Monte Carlo model was also developed to simulate the signal generated by microbubbles using both synchrotron and laboratory based methods. Three-dimensional numerical phantoms were created to directly model experimental samples, with signal generated by these then simulated using both methods. The Monte Carlo model of the laboratory edge illumination system was the first fully three-dimensional and polychromatic model developed. This was validated against experimental data acquired with a prototype edge illumination system, and so in future could be used to aid the development of further systems. It can provide information helpful in the design of masks, geometry, source and detector specifications, as well as giving an indication of the systems tolerance to misalignment. The use of microbubbles as a contrast agent for x-ray phase contrast imaging could both transform x-ray imaging into a "functional" modality and enable much needed real time monitoring of targeted drug delivery. Results presented in this thesis demonstrate this to be possible, and encourage further research in this area.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available