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Diémoz, Paul C.; Vittoria, Fabio A.; Hagen, Charlotte K.; Endrizzi, Marco; Coan, Paola; Bravin, Alberto; Wagner, Ulrich H.; Rau, Christoph; Robinson, Ian K.; Olivo, Alessandro (2016): A single-image retrieval method for edge illumination X-ray phase-contrast imaging: Application and noise analysis. In: Physica Medica: European Journal of Medical Physics, Vol. 32, No. 12: pp. 1759-1764
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Abstract

Purpose: Edge illumination (EI) X-ray phase-contrast imaging (XPCI) has been under development at University College London in recent years, and has shown great potential for both laboratory and synchrotron applications. In this work, we propose a new acquisition and processing scheme. Contrary to existing retrieval methods for EI, which require as input two images acquired in different setup configurations, the proposed approach can retrieve an approximate map of the X-ray phase from a single image, thus significantly simplifying the acquisition procedure and reducing data collection times. Methods: The retrieval method is analytically derived, based on the assumption of a quasi-homogeneous object, i. e. an object featuring a constant ratio between refractive index and absorption coefficient. The noise properties of the input and retrieved images are also theoretically analyzed under the developed formalism. The method is applied to experimental synchrotron images of a biological object. Results: The experimental results show that the method can provide high-quality images, where the "edge" signal typical of XPCI images is transformed to an "area" contrast that enables an easier interpretation of the sample geometry. Moreover, the retrieved images confirm that the method is highly stable against noise. Conclusions: We anticipate that the developed approach will become the method of choice for a variety of applications of EI XPCI, thanks to its ability to simplify the acquisition procedure and reduce acquisitions time and dose to the sample. Future work will focus on the adaptation of the method to computed tomography and to polychromatic radiation from X-ray tubes. (C) 2016 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.