a novel phase contrast technique with the potential of revolutionizing x-ray imaging applications in medicine, biology, industry and security

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Medical Physics and Biomedical Eng

Abstract

This project aims at transferring an established synchrotron radiation (SR) technique with extremely high potential, X-ray phase contrast imaging (XPCI), into its practical application through the full development of a novel method devised by the fellow.Over the recent years, SR studies have demonstrated that XPCI could substantially change the face of X-ray imaging, as it would provide dramatic image improvements in fields as diverse as medicine, industry, security, scientific research and others.Early diagnosis of breast tumours, detection of faint lung lesions in planar images instead of CT scans, imaging of blood vessels without contrast agents, detection of microfractures and dilamination in composite materials are just a few examples of results obtained through SR XPCI which are currently not accessible by means of conventional x-ray imaging techniques.The problem so far is that XPCI was considered to be restricted to SR environments, which prevented its diffusion despite the impressive potentials. All XPCI techniques devised so far suffer when implemented with conventional sources, making its practical use substantially impossible.The applicant has recently devised a novel XPCI technique, based on the use of coded apertures, which solves most limitations of previous approaches. Proof-of-concept experiments have demonstrated beyond doubt that this new technique can provide results comparable to those obtained with SR while making use of diverging, polychromatic beams generated by conventional sources currently available off the shelf. As a consequence, this approach has the concrete potential to take XPCI out of SR environments and into its practical application for the first time. This would have an enormous impact both from the economic (the x-ray imaging market was estimated to be over 10B Euros already in 2005 - S. Rusckowski, CEO imaging systems, Philips) and the social point of view, as the general public would benefit from improved healthcare and security.The present project aims at achieving this important result through the development of the new XPCI technique. At the same time, it would target relevant application fields (breast imaging, plus others to be agreed with the end-users), and quantitatively assess the advantages that the new technique would bring in each of them.To achieve these objectives, the new method would be fully modelled by expanding simulation tools developed by the fellow during the proof-of-concept work. These models would be experimentally validated to guarantee reliability, and the output used to design an imaging prototype. On the basis of the resources available at the proposed host institution (two extra long optical tables plus two high-powered x-ray sources with different targets, and some detector prototypes), it would actually be possible to realize two separate prototypes, to target a wider range of applications. This imaging prototype(s) would then be thoroughly evaluated, and eventually used to image typical samples from the targeted applications. The analysis of these images, alongside the comparison with images of the same samples obtained with conventional systems, would allow the quantitative assessment of the advantages of the new technique on the targeted applications. In order to perform all tasks required by the above plan, the collaboration of ten partners from relevant fields have been sought. The appropriate input from physicians (two radiologists and a pathologist), detector developers (RAL, MI3), scientists with unique expertise in the field (ELETTRA, where the only in vivo station for mammography with SR XPCI has been built), and industrial companies active in related fields (Canon, e2v, X-Tek, 3DX-ray) has been secured and is documented through letters of support. To provide training to young scientist on the new topic and help the fellow on the everyday running of the project, the team would be completed by a PDRA and a PhD student.

Publications

10 25 50
publication icon
Alessandro Olivo (2010) Coded-apertures take x-ray phase contrast imaging out of the synchrotrons and into real world applications in Notiziario Neutroni e Luce di Sincrotrone

publication icon
Diemoz PC (2014) Sensitivity of edge illumination X-ray phase-contrast imaging. in Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences

publication icon
Diemoz PC (2013) X-ray phase-contrast imaging with nanoradian angular resolution. in Physical review letters

publication icon
Endrizzi M (2014) Hard X-ray dark-field imaging with incoherent sample illumination in Applied Physics Letters

 
Description This project was aimed at building and evaluating an imaging prototype based on a new x-ray imaging technique invented by the PI. The approach is revolutionary as it uses the phase of x-rays to generate image contrast rather than attenuation, which is the standard approach used for over a century i.e. practically since Roentgen's discovery of x-rays.

The phase contrast prototype was designed and built, and has been evaluated against 1) imaging of threat objects in baggage scanning 2) imaging of defects in composite materials 3) imaging of damage in rat cartilage 4) imaging of tumours in breast tissue. In all the above applications, substantially improved image quality over conventional methods was demonstrated; in particular, detection of relevant details missed by conventional methods was demonstrated in ALL tested areas. Results in all these areas have been published. In addition, the project has produced a corpus of literature on the new imaging method and its implementations (see outcomes).

More recently, thanks also to the support of an additional EPSRC grant (EP/L001381/1) aimed at extending the basic work carried out during the fellowship, proof-of-concept was obtained that the method can work in 3D (CT) implementations: three full journals and a proceeding paper have already been published, and one of these appeared on the cover of Medical Physics. Implementation of quasi-3D methods (tomosynthesis), which are steadily acquiring a growing importance in medical imaging, has also been demonstrated, and a paper has been published in Physics in Medicine and Biology.
Exploitation Route Ultimately we hope the technology will be deployed in hospitals, clinics, industrial establishment, customs, etc worldwide. An additional area of application is cultural heritage, which we have only recently started to explore. An evaluation project is currently underway with a large company aimed at exploiting the technology in industrial inspections, NDT and possibly security scanning. Negotiations are underway with a number of companies to pursue commercialization in medical applications - very recent news just before the end of the grant (Dec 2013) is that we have been sent a draft contract from a major medical imaging company for an evaluation project aimed at using the technology in healthcare.

Moreover, this area of research has recently been at the basis of two international conferences sponsored by the Royal Society (see http://royalsociety.org/events/2013/x-ray-phase-contrast/ and http://royalsociety.org/events/2013/xray-imaging-satellite/), heavily attended by industry.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Electronics,Energy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Security and Diplomacy,Transport

URL http://www.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/research/acadradphys/researchactivities/pci.htm
 
Description At the end of this fellowship, the technology was still in its infancy, however it has been further developed through other grants (including those in this same submission) and is now starting to be picked up and developed by industry. After receiving expressions of interest from approximately 20 companies, we have signed an agreement with one (for exploitation in NDT/metrology/industrial/security screening/specimen imaging), we have an option and an externally funded project in place with a second one (for exploitation in pre-clinical imaging), and we are discussing options with two more companies for exploitation in clinical imaging. Since the last update of this document, the name of the first company we signed the agreement with has been made known (Nikon/Nikon Metrology UK); more recently, Nikon Metrology UK has also signed an additional agreement with Anglo Scientific for exploitation in security, which resulted in the creation of a dedicated startup (XPCI Technology Ltd). Once deals are finalised, the names of the companies we are dealing with for exploitation in pre-clinical and clinical imaging will also be made known.
Sector Electronics,Energy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Transport
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description Achieving a step change in osteoarthritis research through innovative imaging tools
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation University College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
End 12/2011
 
Description Creativity at Home grant
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Funding ID bolted on to the present grant (EP/G004250/1) 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2012 
End 12/2013
 
Description Detecting explosives and weapons via high-throughput multi-modal x-ray imaging - full prototype", IRC-SBRI
Amount £440,364 (GBP)
Organisation Home Office 
Department Home Office Scientific Development Branch
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2015 
End 01/2017
 
Description EPSRC Healthcare Impact Partnership "Improving the outcomes of oesophageal interventions through novel x-ray based imaging methods"
Amount £948,478 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P023231/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 01/2021
 
Description Experimental equipment at UCL - X-Ray bundle
Amount £843,989 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description Further development of code-aperture x-ray phase contrast imaging for commercialization of the method in industrial applications
Amount £48,145 (GBP)
Organisation Nikon 
Sector Private
Country Global
Start 01/2013 
End 12/2013
 
Description Phase modulation technology for X-ray imaging
Amount £1,436,518 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I022562/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2016
 
Description Three-dimensional quantitative x-ray phase imaging
Amount £229,086 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/L001381/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2013 
End 06/2015
 
Description Transforming the use of x-rays in science and society
Amount £1,049,890 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I021884/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2011 
End 10/2016
 
Title Coded-aperture x-ray phase contrast imaging 
Description NB the above does not really apply as it seems to be tailored to medical/biological research only. This is the adaptation of the edge-illumination principle to laboratory sources (through masks) and the first ever phase contrast imaging method working with fully incoherent sources. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Systems based on this principle are under design and construction at the Universities of Houston and Saskatchewan and at the NDA. Two large companies are evaluating it with the aim of exploiting it commercially. 
 
Title Edge-Illumination X-Ray Phase Contrast Imaging 
Description NB the above does not really apply as it seems to be tailored to medical/biological research only. Edge-Illumination X-Ray Phase Contrast Imaging is a new synchrotron-based x-ray imaging method that provides phase sensitivity one order of magnitude higher than any other existing method (see Diemoz et al PRL 2013 in publication list). As such it opens the way to applications which were previously inaccessible. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The ESRF, Diamond and Elettra are using the method and developments are underway to make it more widely available to their user community. A first contact has been made with DESY in Hamburg to have a first trial run also at that synchrotron, and discussions are underway with the Canadian light source, the APS and other synchrotrons. 
 
Title calculation of effective energy in phase imaging 
Description Effective energy has been used for ages in e.g. conventional absorption based CT. While developing our phase retrieval approaches we have realised that in phase imaging the concept is radically different, and have developed a model to explain this (Olivo & Munro PRA 2013). 
Type Of Material Data handling & control 
Year Produced 2013 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Despite this being a recent achievement, it is now used by the University of Houston and we expect that more will follow. 
 
Title incoherent phase retrieval 
Description This is the first time ever in which quantitative phase retrieval can be performed on data acquired with incoherent sources (see Munro et al PNAS 2012). 
Type Of Material Data handling & control 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Groups in Trieste (Synchrotron and University), Ludwig-MAximillian University Munich, University of Houston, University of Saskatchewan are now using this. 
 
Description Creatv Microtech 
Organisation Creatv MicroTech
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Creatv Microtech has fabricated most of the masks we have used so far in our edge-illuminaiton approach. I have effectively opened a new line of business for them, since other groups have ordered similar devices since. I have visited them in two occasions and held lectures to explain how we use the masks and why, which culminated in meetings aimed at improving the mask fabrication process. The first iteration has already taken place resulting in masks with less defects and better gold/substrate adhesion; another is imminent which will be aimed at the fabrication of masks with larger areas.
Collaborator Contribution Creatv Microtech has fabricated for free a number of test structures, which we used in several experiments. In one occasions, they have invited me over at their expenses and showed me their facilities, which enabled a much better understanding of the mask fabrication process and especially of what can and cannot be done with the technology. They have also brokered contacts with the FDA (wit which the terms of a collaboration are under discussion which, if successful, will result in their endorsement of our technology) and with the Frederick Cancer Institute, again a very valuable contact for future collaborations.
Impact Papers are not particularly relevant in this case although one could argue that most edge-illumination phase contrast papers would not have been possible without Creatv Microtech. One important outcome is the availability of mask-based systems not only in our labs but also at Elettra, Diamond and the ESRF (for what concerns our collaborators), plus other labs worldwide e.g. the Universities of Houston and Saskatchewan and soon the FDA and possibly DESY in Hamburg, Germany; considering that out technology is very young we expect this to keep growing in the near future.
Start Year 2006
 
Description Dexela 
Organisation Dexela
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I have characterised their detector technology using both conventional sources and synchrotron radiation.
Collaborator Contribution They have: co-funded a PhD studentship, loaned us their detector on several occasions and trained us on its use, came to Elettra with us at their expenses for a synchrotron experiment, provided access to their facilities and laboratories, given us their proprietary tomosynthesis reconstruction software for free.
Impact We have published 2 joint papers plus one is under review; moreover our proof-of-concept tomosynthesis paper was made possible by their software. The results of our characterisation now form part of their commercial strategy - e.g. we have demonstrated record-high DQE and this is a key element. Research is again at the intersection of physics/engineering and medicine.
Start Year 2009
 
Description Elettra Synchrotron 
Organisation Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have installed an edge illumination phase contrast system at beamline 6.1 "SYRMEP" at ELETTRA. This is now available also to other users (e.g. a paper is currently (Nov 2014) in press on Phys. Med. Biol., for the first time without the direct involvement of my group); for the time being on a collaborative basis, in the longer term to all users. ELETTRA is the only beamline in the world where phase contrast mammography is performed in vivo on human patients: plans are currently underway to include edge-illumination in the clinical experimentation for additional phase sensitivity. A large EU grant has recently been submitted as a first step in this direction.
Collaborator Contribution They have provided free beamtime in many occasions, as well as access to support labs, sample preparation, fabrication, bench top CT machines etc. They have participated in the data analysis and writing of the papers.
Impact So far this resulted in 9 joint papers (see publication list), with more in preparation. The collaboration is interdisciplinary as it combines physics, engineering, medicine, biology, material science.
Start Year 2006
 
Description Heriot Watt University 
Organisation Heriot-Watt University
Department School of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provided new methods to test their samples
Collaborator Contribution provided samples and indications on what to look for/help with data interpretation
Impact evidence of effective new way to test devices produced by collaborator - will build on these achievement in the near future
Start Year 2015
 
Description Imperial College Bioeng 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The main interest of the team at Imperial was to visualise early signs of damage in murine cartilage to develop new treatment strategies for osteoarthritis. We provided a means to do this through our phase-based x-ray imaging methods, first at synchrotrons then with conventional sources.
Collaborator Contribution They provided all the murine samples, led the image analysis and contributed to the writing of the articles.
Impact We have published 4 joint papers and won a joint research grant. Clearly interdisciplinary - physics/engineering meets biology.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Kyoto University 
Organisation University of Kyoto
Department Graduate School of Informatics
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Integrated our imaging method in their new image reconstruction framework
Collaborator Contribution Development of ad-hoc reconstruction methods for our imaging approaches
Impact Development of new algorithms
Start Year 2015
 
Description Ludwig-Maximillian University Munich 
Organisation Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU Munich)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have adapted our imaging technologies to teh need of the biomedical research performed by teh group at LMU - mostly with synchrotrons, but also conventional laboratory x-ray sources.
Collaborator Contribution Have provided samples for a variety of biomedical applications and contributed significantly to the data analysis
Impact This has for teh momoent resulted in several papers, joint conference presentations, and the installation of a new set up at the ESRF
Start Year 2013
 
Description QMUL 
Organisation Queen Mary University of London
Department Barts Cancer Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have proposed the use of our new imaging techniques for a) the earlier diagnosis of breast cancer and b) a tool to detect tumour micro-invasion in tissue contrast. I have imaged ~100 tissue specimens with our laboratory setup, and a few tens of tissue constructs with synchrotron radiation (at Diamond).
Collaborator Contribution They have provided hundreds of samples, trained my team on tissue histology and tumour formation, image interpretation, histological confirmation.
Impact We have published 2 papers together and co-written a successful grant application. The research is at the interface between physics/engineering and medicine/biology.
Start Year 2008
 
Description University of Dundee 
Organisation University of Dundee
Department Dundee Cancer Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Multiple 
PI Contribution I have adapted out imaging method to the imaging of breast tissue samples, trained the radiologist from Dundee on the interpretation of phase contrast images, and provided her with extensive datasets.
Collaborator Contribution She has analysed and blind scored a wide range of breast images obtained with our method, plus conventional images pif the sae specimens for comparison.
Impact We have published 2 joint papers and submitted a joint grant application. The research is at the interface between physics/engineering and medicine.
Start Year 2008
 
Description University of Oxford - Radiation Oncology 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The group is interested in imaging methods that could visualise faint localised changes caused by radiation treatment in rodents. I have conducted a pilot experiment and more will follow.
Collaborator Contribution They helped us designing the experiment, have developed dedicated simulation software and written a paper in the subject.
Impact We have published a joint paper and are developing plans to extend the collaboration.
Start Year 2012
 
Description University of Washington in St Louis 
Organisation Columbia University
Department Department of Biomedical Engineering
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Introduction to our method, datasets to reconstruct, instructions on how to reconstruct them
Collaborator Contribution development of optimised reconstruction methods for our imaging approaches
Impact paper in preparation
Start Year 2014
 
Description University of Western Australia 
Organisation University of Western Australia
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A researcher at UWA is a world expert and has a keen interest in phase contrast imaging. We have made data available for him and discussed a number of new applications and opportunities. I have also helped him write a series of grant applications (primarily fellowships) three of which were successful.
Collaborator Contribution He analysed data, provided calculations and software, wrote and co-wrote papers.
Impact We have published 13 joint papers and co-wrote 3 successful fellowship applications, the last one of which is a prestigious Royal Society Research Fellowship which will allow our collaborator to come to work at UCL for 5 years. While the methods developed are typically within the physics/engineering remit, pursued applications so far are in medicine, biology, security, material science etc so the research is interdisciplinary.
Start Year 2012
 
Title Phase Contrast Imaging 
Description A method that enable performing x-ray phase contrast imaging with conventional incoherent sources. 
IP Reference WO2008029107 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2008
Licensed Yes
Impact The patent has been licensed out to a major company (Nikon) and prototypes are under construction. Negotiations are underway for areas of exploitation not covered by the Nikon deal.
 
Title Phase Imaging: method for highly accurate automated geometric alignment of masks and detector 
Description method for automatic alignment of phase-contrast x-ray imaging systems - alignment is one of the main challenges of the approach 
IP Reference WO2013011316 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2013
Licensed Yes
Impact The patent has been licensed out to a major company (Nikon) and prototypes are under construction. Negotiations are underway for areas of exploitation not covered by the Nikon deal.
 
Title Phase Imaging: method to allow quantification of absorption and phase components of the object 
Description method to quantitatively extract phase and absorption from a phase contrast image, including with incoherent sources (previously considered impossible). 
IP Reference WO2013011317 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2013
Licensed Yes
Impact The patent has been licensed out to a major company (Nikon) and prototypes are under construction. Negotiations are underway for areas of exploitation not covered by the Nikon deal.
 
Title ray-tracing based phase contrast imaging simulator 
Description This is a software that can simulate phase contrast images based on an approximated ray-tracing approach. It is not as as the one based on the Fresnel/Kirchoff diffraction integral approach, but is faster. It was also demonstrated to produce the same results under relaxed (e.g. lab-based) coherence conditions. It is not open source as not of straightforward use (yet) but we are prepared to make it available to any group that might require it. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2010 
Impact It allows fast and reliable simulation of phase contrast images. Despite to being a recent development, the University of Trieste is using it, and we use it as a training tool for students at UCL. We've also pioneered remote use by our distance learning MSc students. 
 
Title wave-based phase contrast imaging simulator 
Description This is a software that can simulate phase contrast images based on a rigorous Fresnel/Kirchoff diffraction integral approach. It is not open source as not of straightforward use (yet) but we are prepared to make it available to any group that might require it. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact It allows fast and reliable simulation of phase contrast images. Despite to being a recent development, the University of Saskatchewan is using it, and we also use it as a training tool for students at UCL. 
 
Company Name XPCI TECHNOLOGY LIMITED 
Description This company was created to initially collaborate with Nikon on the commercialisation of security applications of x-ray phase contrast imaging, then expand into other areas as appropriate 
Year Established 2017 
Impact none yet - too recent creation
 
Description "Practical x-ray phase contrast imaging", KTN workshop on Advanced Sensing for Biosciences and Healthcare, Ambassador Hotel, London, 16 Mar 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I vas invited to speak at one of the regular events the Knowledge Transfer Network organises to connect researchers, industry and policymakers. This created a series of new contacts and requests for clarification/engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description "X-ray phase imaging: a new tool for biomedical imaging", UK-Canada Frontiers of Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a talk targeted at a mix audience to promote collaborations between the UK and Canada
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description A comparison between coded-aperture and grating-based x-ray phase contrast methods: why the former are more suited for clinical translation, Dexela/Perkin Elmer London HQs, March 28 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited seminar at Dexela-Perkin Elmer.

This created a strong link with a key industrial player in the field and led to the establishment of a collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description An incoherent implementation of x-ray phase contrast imaging and tomography that maintains high sensitivity at low delivered doses WCMPE Toronto 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Dissemination to wide and multi-faceted audience of our latest results
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Article on Medical Physics Web "Dual approach enhances breast imaging" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Medical Physics Web is widely read by professional practitioners - medical physicists, radiologists, radiographers, etc
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://medicalphysicsweb.org/cws/article/research/56451
 
Description Article on Scientific American "Can You See Me Now? New X-Ray System Reveals Fine Detail" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Scientific American is one of the most widely read dissemination journals and this article prompted a lot of contacts
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-you-see-me-now-sept-11
 
Description Can the use of x-rays be transformed 120 years after their discovery? X-ray phase contrast imaging and its translation towards clinical and other applications, Medical Image Computing Summer School (MedICSS 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Series of opportunities from new technologies presented to imaging scieintists of the future
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Coded-aperture X-ray phase contrast imaging: a non-interferometric method suitable for use with synchrotron radiation and conventional sources, Workshop on phase modulation methods, Harwell Research Complex, Didcot, UK, June 23 2011 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact This was attended by a group of researchers based at the Harwell Campus with an interest in phase-based x-ray imaging.

This further established our presence and collaborations at Harwell.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Conventional vs. phase-based x-ray imaging: where does the transformative potential of the latter come from, and can we exploit it in clinical applications? Medical Image Computing Summer School (MedICSS 2015) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Series of opportunities from new technologies presented to imaging scieintists of the future
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Development of a 2D and 3D coded aperture x-ray phase contrast imaging system, State of the art and future challenges in x-ray computed tomography for mechanical behaviour assessment, Southampton, Jan 26 2012 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact This was one of our early forays into 3D imaging (later significantly expanded) and this was a first contact with the key players in the UK in the area

Put us "on the map" and generated lots of contact and collaboration requests
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description ESRF beamtime review panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Member of the review panel for the selection of the approved experiments on the imaging beamlines (ID17 and ID19) . Awarding Body - ESRF, Name of Scheme - ESRF beamtime review panel

This effectively determined which experiments were carried out and which ones weren't on the basis of scientific excellence.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Edge-illumination - state-of-the-art and future perspectives of an incoherent x-ray phase contrast imaging method, ANKA Seminar Series, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This was a dissemniation activity aimed particularly at students to raise awareness of our new technology at one of the leading international research institutes
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Edge-illumination phase contrast imaging with conventional x-ray sources: simplified setup, low dose, high stability, acceptable exposure times, FDA Headquarters, Silver Spring, MD, 9 Dec 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited seminar at the Food and Drug Administration Headquarters, Silver Spring, MD, 9 Dec 2013 (with joint FDA/NIH audience).

This is a key activity which led the FDA to think that our phase contrast method is the most likely to reach the clinical stage. It resulted in their desire to experiment with it (which could led to their official endorsement) and plans have been made to make some of our x-ray mask available to them so that they can commence investigations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description How to achieve acceptable dose levels and exposure times in Phase contrast imaging with conventional x-ray sources, Creatv Microtech Headquarters, Potomac, MD, March 20 2013 (with NIH audience) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited seminar at the Creatv Microtech Headquarters, Potomac, MD, with NIH audience.

seminar invited by industrial partner to facilitate identification of future exploitation routes; members of the NIH were invited along to explore the possibility of obtaining NIH funding for a joint US/UK project

It enabled a better understanding of our needs by our industrial partners leading to better products (x-ray masks) which are now being sold also to other groups; the presence of NIH delegates led to the invitation to submit a grant application.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Making the invisible visible - x-ray phase contrast imaging (Oxford) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact invited seminar for graduate and postgraduate students attended by industry
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Member of the review panel for ESRF beamline ID17 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Member of the review panel for ESRF beamline ID17 All ESRF beamlines are regularly assessed by an international expert panel to decide whether their activities should be reduced, maintained or expanded and to collect advice on future scientific directions.. Awarding Body - ESRF, Name of Scheme - Beamline Review Panels

Key decisions on staffing and future scientific directions of beamline ID17 were taken, and related actions then put in practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Multi-modal phase-based x-ray imaging: detecting the undetectable, John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science, University of Oxford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Again an opportunity to engage studnets and a different audience, including laying down plans to combine our imaging methods with new x-ray sources
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Phase contrast imaging and tomography with hard x-rays - prospective applications to various areas including electrochemical devices, STFC Global Challenge Network in Batteries and Electrochemical Energy Devices 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact An opportunity to reach out to a completely different audience hopefully opening new prospectives for application
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Phase contrast mammography: earlier threat detection, Joint STFC Futures and BIR Cancer Care Workshop, RAL, Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK Oct 5-6 2011 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation at Joint STFC Futures & BIR Cancer Care Workshop, RAL, Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK Oct 5-6 2011.

It has generated new contacts and kickstarted new collaborations as well as led to the award of a PhD studentship.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Portable x-ray phase contrast tomography (a.k.a. "incoherent approaches to x-ray phase contrast imaging with conventional x-ray sources"), Varenna 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation to difference audience e.g. users of neutron sources to spawn new areas of collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Removing the roadblocks to clinical translation of x-ray phase contrast imaging using the edge-illumination method, Mini-symposium on "Frontiers in Phase Contrast X-ray imaging for Biomedical Application 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact initial plans for roadmap for translation of x-ray phase contrast imaging
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Seeing invisible things (possibly while in full possession of your mental capacities): x-ray phase-contrast imaging, Kings College London, Centre for Neuroimaging Science, Nov 20 2012 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Invited seminar at the , Centre for Neuroimaging Science,Kings College London, Nov 20 2013.

INvited seminar aimed at establishing new collaborations between the two Institutes

It started a new collaboration expected to bear fruits in the near future
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Seeing invisible things with X-Rays, "Alumnorum Colloquia" series, Department of Physics, University of Trieste 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Directly aimed at inspiring undergrad students at my univerity of origin
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Siemens press release "The New X-Ray Revolution" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Recognition by leading healthcare company of the prospective importance of our developments
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.siemens.com/innovation/en/home/pictures-of-the-future/health-and-well-being/medical-imag...
 
Description Status and perspectives of edge-illumination x-ray phase contrast imaging, Nikon Metrology UK Headquarters, Tring, Herts 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Aimed at industry only (Nikon UK and Nikon Japan, with executive members present explicitly for this) aimed at laying down joint exploitation plans
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description The UCL X-Ray Phase Contrast Imaging Method: enhanced sensitivity at synchrotrons and easier translation to conventional sources, UCL Centre for Neuroimaging Techniques, Institute of Neurology, 7 Mar 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Invited seminar at the UCL Centre for Neuroimaging Techniques, Institute of Neurology, 7 Mar 2013.

Invited seminar to establish new collaborations between the two Faculties

Discussions were initiated on possible collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description The UCL method for phase contrast imaging with conventional x-ray sources: simplified setup, low dose, high stability, acceptable exposure times, Visit from SIEMENS delegation, UCL, Apr 23 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to Siemens.

This led Siemens Corporate Research to consider our phase contrast method as the most likely candidate for clinical translation. It led to long term partnership plans, their funding of a proof-of-concept study, co-funding of a PhD studentship and participation in a large EU submission.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Towards the translation of x-ray phase contrast imaging into clinical applications, IPEM 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of new imaging modality to medical physicists with an eye on future clinical use
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Transforming the use of x-rays in science and society, Set for Britain 2011, The House of Commons, London, UK, Mar 14 2011 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact selection for presentation at "Set for Britain 2011", The House of Commons, London, UK, Mar 14 2011.

I have created contacts with MPs - some last to this day.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Translating edge-illumination based x-ray phase contrast imaging into in vivo clinical applications, Siemens 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Discussion with Industry to develop commercial soultions based around our methods
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015
 
Description Translating edge-illumination based x-ray phase contrast imaging into mammography and other applications, GE 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A presentation to industry to develop joint commercial solutions
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Why could the edge-illumination/coded-aperture x-ray phase contrast imaging method allow for an easier translation into medical and other applications?, Faculty of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, May 9 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Invited seminar at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, May 2013.

This led the Saskatchewan group to the decision to use our phase contrast method and kickstarted a very promising collaboration which has already led to two of their scientists spending time in our labs, one through a successful joint application for a Wellcome-Burroghs travel grant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description X-ray phase contrast imaging - detecting the undetectable, Biological and Soft System Sector, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University Nov 8th 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Invited seminar at the Biological and Soft System Sector, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University Nov 8th 2013.

It led to new collaboration opportunities and a consultancy for a UK company active in the field of security.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description X-ray phase contrast imaging for enhanced threat detection, RCUK Global Uncertainties Programme Strategic Plan Consultation, Park Crescent Conference Centre, London, Jan 31 2011 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Our imaging methods were "put on the horizon" of research in security and discussed with a number of other actors in the field, including other researchers, funders, politicians, authorities etc.

It has significantly strengthened my connections with the Global Uncertainties program which I still interact with support, created new scientific contacts aimed at collaborations as well as new industrial contacts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description XPCI: X-Ray Phase Contrast Imaging, X-rays, a tool for science and technology: interaction with matter, detection techniques, applications. Politecnico di Milano, Italy, Feb 20-21 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This was part of a series of events for the Doctoral School of the Milan Polytechnic, which was also attended by some undergrads and some industrialists - a unique chance to make practicing and future scientists aware of the wen technological options opened by our research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description opportunities for CMOS detectors in medical imaging: Leading edge requirements for diagnostic imaging, Milton Hill House, Steventon, August 20th 2009 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact I provided basic info on the opportunities for CMOS sensor in medical imaging and discussed related requirements.

STFC took note and structured their funding strategy accordingly.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009