Numerical Simulation of Novel Concept 4D cardiac microtomography for small rodents based on all-optical Thomson scattering x-ray sources

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D. Panetta, L. Labate, L. Billeci, N. Di Lascio, G. Esposito, F. Faita, G. Mettivier, D. Palla, L. Pandola, P. Pisciotta, G. Russo, A. Sardo, P. Tomassini, P. A. Salvadori, L. A. Gizzi and P. Russo

Scientific Reports 9, 8439, (2019).

Abstract

Accurate dynamic three-dimensional (4D) imaging of the heart of small rodents is required for the preclinical study of cardiac biomechanics and their modification under pathological conditions, but technological challenges are met in laboratory practice due to the very small size and high pulse rate of the heart of mice and rats as compared to humans. In 4D X-ray microtomography (4D μCT), the achievable spatio-temporal resolution is hampered by limitations in conventional X-ray sources and detectors. Here, we propose a proof-of-principle 4D μCT platform, exploiting the unique spatial and temporal features of novel concept, all-optical X-ray sources based on Thomson scattering (TS). The main spatial and spectral properties of the photon source are investigated using a TS simulation code. The entire data acquisition workflow has been also simulated, using a novel 4D numerical phantom of a mouse chest with realistic intra- and inter-cycle motion. The image quality of a typical single 3D time frame has been studied using Monte Carlo simulations, taking into account the effects of the typical structure of the TS X-ray beam. Finally, we discuss the perspectives and shortcomings of the proposed platform.

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