The development of X-ray phase-contrast imaging at Paul Scherrer Institute PSI tells a story of how basic research can quickly lead to practical applications. Grating interferometry was pioneered by PSI scientists as a technique for characterizing the X-ray wave front at synchrotron sources, such as the Swiss Light Source SLS. This development enhanced the quality of X-ray images. Soon after, it began to be used for phase-contrast imaging of soft matter-like tissue, and was subsequently brought to X-ray lab sources as well. Currently, it is under development for mammography with improved contrast for soft tissue and the micro-calcifications that are markers for benign and malignant tissue alterations.
Read more about this development via these links: Phase contrast improves mammography and Phase-contrast X-ray imaging for advanced breast cancer detection
Image: Marco Stampanoni pioneered the technique of phase-contrast X-ray imaging, which enables higher resolution mammograms that can help detect breast cancer earlier
Credit: Paul Scherrer Institute / Markus Fischer