Three-dimensional quantitative x-ray phase imaging

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

Abstract

X-Ray Phase Contrast Imaging (XPCI) is one of the most exciting new methods emerged in x-ray science over recent years. It generates image contrast based on refraction and interference phenomena rather than x-ray attenuation, which enhances the visibility of all details in an image. Moreover, features classically considered "x-ray invisible" can be detected by XPCI. This has transformative power in many applications, from medicine to industrial testing, through biology, cultural heritage, material science, security inspections, and many other fields. It is worth remembering that the use of x-rays is all pervasive, both in science and in society, and all areas where x-ray imaging is used can strongly benefit from XPCI.

The problem up to a few years ago was that XPCI was considered restricted to large, specialized and expensive facilities called synchrotrons - only approximately 50 of which exist in the world. However, my research group has recently solved this problem by developing a method that enables XPCI to be performed with conventional x-ray sources, like those used in hospitals. This will allow taking XPCI out of ultra-specialized labs and into "real-world" applications, and negotiations with various companies are indeed underway to take the technology into commercial exploitation.

This project aims at developing the next generation of this technology. At the moment, our XPCI method works only in 2D, "planar" imaging applications. Although this is useful in itself, and is effectively employed in some areas (e.g. mammography or baggage scanning at airports), many other applications require the full 3D ("tomographic") reconstruction of the imaged sample. This is a well known problem in medicine, where for example some diseases cannot be diagnosed with a simple "x-ray" but require a CT (computed tomography) scan; the same principle also applies to many other areas, where full 3D knowledge of the sample is essential to the decision-making process that follows. Examples are in the development of new drugs, the effect of which is often assessed through high-resolution 3D images of the small animals on which they are tested, or in the testing of sophisticated mechanical parts or of new "composite" materials.

This project therefore aims at the development of a quantitative, full 3D version of our XPCI method. This requires overcoming a number of obstacles, some of which have a very technical nature. For example, in order to make x-ray imaging systems sensitive to x-ray phase, we use masks, which cover parts of the imaged object. Although this does not create a problem in planar imaging, because the portions of the sample which are covered are smaller than the smallest element the imaging system can resolve (the detector pixel), it does result in significant artifacts when a 3D volume is reconstructed, because of a problem known as undersampling. This is also encountered in other disciplines (for example nuclear medicine), and researchers have developed new, more sophisticated reconstruction tools which allow solving or at least mitigating this problem. We therefore plan to adapt these new reconstruction tools to the specific requirements of our XPCI method, so that reliable and quantitative 3D "phase" reconstruction can be performed.

Initially, this will be based on an extensive simulation phase during which different algorithms will be tested on various datasets, which will enable identifying the most promising ones. This will be followed by an experimental phase in which we will test the algorithms on real experimental data: this will allow selecting the best solution and fine-tuning it. Finally, there will be a demonstration phase in which the optimized 3D method will be applied to real scientific problems, among which for example the 3D visualization of small damage in articular cartilage (notoriously invisible to conventional x-ray methods), or of intrusion/defects in new-generation composite materials.

Planned Impact

This project is expected to have significant impact, as it will substantially improve all applications of x-ray imaging. This is a direct consequence of the fact that, although sometimes overlooked, x-ray imaging is widely used in science and society. The main areas of impact include:

Medicine: in the long term, we aim at creating a step change in the early diagnosis of a wide variety of diseases, as well as in the planning/delivery/assessment of medical treatments. Our phase imaging methodologies can do this because they allow the visualization of features currently undetectable, which can enable the diagnosis of diseases at an earlier stage. This is of paramount importance in lethal diseases like cancer, as it can make the difference between a cancer that can be cured and one that cannot. However, early diagnosis is important also in non life-threatening diseases (e.g. one example that we will explicitly target is osteoarthritis), as treating a disease at an earlier stage can lead to a different evolution of the disease itself, and therefore to improved quality of life, with less need for constant care, etc. Beneficiaries include clinicians, who will have access to new diagnostic tools; the NHS, which will be able to reduce costs and provide better healthcare as a result of improved and less invasive diagnostic techniques; the medical industry, through the commercialization of the new technology, and, ultimately and most importantly, the patients.

Material science: we will provide a powerful new test tool for composite materials. These materials are the future workhorse of the aerospace and transport industries and are currently very difficult to test. The aerospace and transport sectors will benefit, but beneficiaries will also include manufacturers of test systems, Governmental bodies and the general public.
Another area that we will target is that of early detection of corrosion/porosity/fatigue cracks in a variety of materials. This will be beneficial to various industrial sectors, and include pathways to improved waste control. In general terms, the development of improved non-destructive testing tools will be of benefit to a variety of industrial products including microchips and other electronic components, pharmaceuticals, etc. It should be noted that better testing tools are also key to reduce the carbon footprint of all products.

Biology: we will produce phase-based 3D x-ray scanners which will enable new studies to be performed in conventional laboratories. This includes studies now possible only at synchrotrons. Some areas of cell biology, tissue studies to understand important diseases, etc are just a few examples in which the developed instruments will generate benefit not only to the scientific community, but also to the pharmaceutical industry and thus ultimately to the NHS and the patients. This also includes the development of new small-animal scanners with increased sensitivity.

Finally, companies active in the development and commercialization of scientific equipment will benefit from novel instrumentation developed in this project. Not only does this include manufacturers of x-ray sources, detectors, full imaging systems, etc but also companies active in the field of nanofabrication, and in particular microlithography, should the inclusion of apertured masks or similar devices become common practice in x-ray systems.

Publications

10 25 50

 
Description Over recent years a new, much more powerful method has emerged that enables performing x-ray imaging based on the phase changes that x-rays suffer when traversing an object, rather than x-ray absorption. This enhances the visibility of all details in an x-ray image, and enables the visualisation of features classically considered x-ray invisible, with impact over a wide range of disciplines (earlier detection of tumours and other diseases, improved industrial testing methods, enhanced security at airports and customs, etc). Although there are other methods that enable exploiting x-ray phase, the one developed at UCL works with conventional (incoherent) sources, hence enabling deployment into clinics, industry, customs, etc. Before this project, the method was a planar one, i.e. it only allowed 2D projection x-ray images to be acquired. With this project, we have transformed it into a fully 3D, tomographic one, hence significantly increasing its range of potential applications.
Exploitation Route The immediate impact is that any laboratory in the world can now perform phase-based x-ray computed tomography using simple equipment available off-the-shelf, which was previously impossible. This has significant implications for research in medicine, biology, material science, cultural heritage and many other areas. In the medium term, this will be used by industry e.g. for non-destructive testing. The next step will be its use in pre-clinical studies e.g. for the development of new drugs for a variety of diseases: in fact, using phase contrast, the smallest drug-induced changes could be picked up e.g. in a small-animal study. Finally, we anticipate a full clinical translation and that the technology will be used for the improved diagnosis of a series of important diseases, including, but not limited to, cancer.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Electronics,Energy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Transport,Other

URL http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medphys/research/axim
 
Description When this project started, the technology was still in its infancy; through this project it has been transformed into a fully-fledged, quantitative 3D method. Thanks to this and other developments, the technology 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 Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Electronics,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Cultural

 
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 Evaluation of edge-illumination based CT for commercialization of the method in industrial applications
Amount £21,000 (GBP)
Organisation Nikon 
Sector Private
Country Global
Start 09/2015 
End 02/2016
 
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 HICF ("EFFICIENT INTRAOPERATIVE DETECTION OF TUMOUR MARGINS THROUGH X-RAY PHASE CONTRAST CT")
Amount £1,240,861 (GBP)
Funding ID 200137/Z/15/Z 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 10/2019
 
Description International Exchanges award
Amount £1,308 (GBP)
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 06/2017
 
Description PLAN TO ACQUIRE MINIATURIZE THE EDGE ILLUMINATION (EI) X-RAY PHASE CONTRAST IMAGING (XPCI) SETUP TO MEET PRACTICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR A PRE-CLINICAL IMAGING SYSTEM
Amount £114,483 (GBP)
Organisation Perkin Elmer 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 11/2017 
End 08/2018
 
Description Workshop Allocation - European Cooperation for Science and Technology (COST) in the framework of action MP1207 (Enhanced X-ray Tomographic Reconstruction: Experiment, Modeling, and Algorithms)
Amount € 5,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2015 
End 09/2015
 
Description Workshop Allocation - European Cooperation for Science and Technology (COST) in the framework of action MP1207 (Enhanced X-ray Tomographic Reconstruction: Experiment, Modeling, and Algorithms)
Amount € 5,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 03/2017 
End 03/2017
 
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 Diamond 
Organisation Diamond Light Source
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have been involved in the beamline design phase as a member of the user working group. When the beamtime became operational, I have installed an edge illumination system at beamline I13 and developed two other new phase-based imaging methods which will become available to the user community.
Collaborator Contribution They have provided access to beamtime, sample preparation and other labs, analysis software, computational resources, participated in the data analyse sand in proposal and paper writing.
Impact So far this has resulted in 6 joint publications; moreover a long (6 days) beamtime has recently (Nov 2014) been concluded and analysis of the data is underway, which we expect to lead to more publications. As well as physics and engineering, applications of the new imaging methods have so far included medicine, biology and material science.
Start Year 2008
 
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 European Synchrotron Radiation Facility 
Organisation European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have installed an edge illumination phase contrast system at beam lie ID17 at the ESRF. This is now available also to other users, for the time being on a collaborative basis, in the longer term to all users. This system enabled establishing a new world record in phase sensitivity (1.9 nano radians) which led to a prestigious paper in PRL. This was reported in the ESRF's research highlights for 2013. In addition, we have opened new areas of research e.g. in palaeontology and have currently established a task force for the minimisation of the delivered dose in mammography.
Collaborator Contribution The repeatedly offered in-house research time with full support of the technical and scientific staff, access to analysis and reconstruction software (including remotely from UCL), data storage, access to ancillary instrumentation and to their animal facility. They also participated in the data analysis, paper writing as well as writing of beamtime and grant proposals.
Impact So far, 5 joint papers (see publication list) including in leading journals such as Physical Review Letters and Optics Letters, additional extension of the collaboration network (e.g. with the ESRF detector group and with the Ludwig-Maximillian University of Munich) and recently the submission of a large EU collaborative grant (pending). The collaboration is highly interdisciplinary and combines physics and engineering with medicine, biology, palaeontology, material science and other disciplines.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Great Ormond Street Hospital 
Organisation Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution This is yet another outstanding problem which our imaging method can solve. Prof. Sebire from GOSH has an interest in imaging stillbirth foetuses, since ascertaining the cause of death is of mandatory importance but many parents object to post-mortems. The only imaging method that could (partly) satisfy this need is high-res MRI but this is very expensive and acquisition times are very long if sufficiently high resolution has to be reached. In a preliminary proof-of-concept experiment I have demonstrated that phase-contrast x-ray imaging could solve this problem.
Collaborator Contribution They have significantly contributed to the design of the experiment, to writing the proposal to get access to beamtime at the ESRF (we obtained proof of concept at a synchrotron and the nest step will be lab-based translation), have travelled to Grenoble at their own expenses to participate in the experiment and are currently helping with the data analysis.
Impact Again a recent addition to our range of collaborations so no outputs yet, but a paper is in preparation and we are laying down plans for future (lab-based) developments of the research - which is again interdisciplinary (physics/engineering and medicine).
Start Year 2014
 
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 Institute of Child Health 
Organisation University College London
Department Institute of Child Health
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research of the group we collaborate with focuses on stem cell-based regenerative medicine. I have started to solve one of their key problems which is the visualisation of scaffold repopulation processes post cell implantation, as well as structure of the scaffolds themselves (they use very peculiar scaffolds obtained from decellularized animal or cadaveric tissue).
Collaborator Contribution They have provided a large number of extremely valuable, refined and unique samples for both our synchrotron and lab-based experiments, plus key data interpretation as this is a completely new area for us. They have contributed to the data analysis and paper writing.
Impact This is a very recent collaboration however one paper is currently under review with a high impact factor journal (Journal of Hepatology, IF 10.4) and two more are in preparation. The collaboration is exquisitely interdisciplinary - physics, engineering and imaging science meet medicine and biology.
Start Year 2012
 
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 Nikon Japan and Nikon Metrology UK 
Organisation Nikon
Department Nikon UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I have introduced Nikon to our new imaging technology, provided them with access to our labs, explored together new areas of application in metrology and industrial testing. The next steps will be to extend this to new applications and help them with the design of a prototype that will be installed in Japan.
Collaborator Contribution The Nikon team has funded x-ray phase contrast research at UCL in three successive instalments, for the overall total indicated above. A team from Nikon has repeatedly visited us and we have performed a series of experiments together, as well as joint data analysis. They have provided several samples as well as new analysis tools, especially for dark field imaging. They have installed a new x-ray source in our labs and repeatedly given access to their labs in Tring for preliminary tests.
Impact Albeit most of the specific sample-orientated research is unpublished for confidentiality reasons, this research led to the development of the first lab-based hard x-ray phase contrast imaging microscope (See Endrizzi et al 2014 Opt. Lett. paper in outputs, where Nikon appears in the acknowledgments). It led to a new instrument being available in the UCL phase contrast labs which has successfully been used by other communities (e.g. for the development of electrochemical devices, where we have demonstrated detection of dendritic formation in lithium-based batteries - paper in preparation). In this sense this collaboration is interdisciplinary as it covers physics, mathematics of image reconstruction, industrial testing, energy materials, materials for transport (e.g. composites). We have plans to expand this in the area of biology soon.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Perkin-Elmer 
Organisation Perkin Elmer
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have run a proof-of-concept study on the potential of our technology on pre-clinical (small-animal) imaging, on which the partner is a market leader
Collaborator Contribution They have funded research at UCL, reviewed all our data, helped defining the specs both in terms of imaging performance and scanner characteristics. We are currently considering a project with broader scope.
Impact We have started to generate a database of images of interest in the area of pre-clinical imaging. We are currently considering publication/conference presentations, and scoping out a larger project.
Start Year 2016
 
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 Antwerp 
Organisation University of Antwerp
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have hosted one of their researchers for a month; this researcher has performed successful experiments and data analysis is underway
Collaborator Contribution Offer of manpower (staff time), technicla meetings, joint data analysis
Impact This is too early to say as analysis is still under way
Start Year 2018
 
Description University of Bristol 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have introduced advanced x-ray imaging to the range of tools Kafienah's team use to characterise their cartilage regeneration/engineering approaches. This has resulted in the award of synchrotron beamtime at Diamond to perform a first collaborative experiment - analysis of the results is currently underway.
Collaborator Contribution They provided a range of engineered cartilage samples at different stages of maturation. As well as for the above mentioned experiment, we have used this as pilot samples to train a group member in the use of atomic force microscopy, therefore expaning our skillset - we are currently considering including the atomic force microscopy results in the publication on teh x-ray results.
Impact none yet other than new knowledge in the respective groups
Start Year 2015
 
Description University of Saskatchewan 
Organisation University of Saskatchewan
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have been invited over to Saskatoon in May 2013 to train the local scientist on our edge-illuminaiton method and give an extended lecture to their students. This has been followed by a visit of Prof. James Montgomery to UCL in Feb 2015, during which we have initiated tests on a new area of medical research - imaging of prostate cancer. Following that I have co-written an application for a Burroughs Wellcome Travel Fellowship with another member of the Saskatoon team - Dr. Mike Wesolowski. This has been successful and, as a result, Dr. Wesolowski is with us as I write (Oct 2014).
Collaborator Contribution The Saskatoon team has created an interest group in edge-illumination phase contrast imaging which is investigating our method with the aim to install it (with our help) a) at the local synchrotron b) in their lab (with a conventional source). They have submitted three grant applications to enable this and are waiting to hear on the outcomes. Prof. Montgomery has visited us and brought over (canine) prostate samples of which we have taken preliminary images. These were used as an indication to further optimise our method for prostate imaging, and more scans will be performed later in the year on some of the samples brought by Montgomery (which were fixed). Montgomery is also planning to send more samples should that be unsatisfactory. Moreover Dr. Wesolowski has co-written a successful application for a travel grant and we are using the time while Wesolowski is here to co-develop a new approach sensitive to phase in two directions. Wesolowski is currentlly taking part in the data acquisition and will perform image analysis and co-write the papers once he returns to Saskatoon.
Impact So far the main output is the successful travel grant; however we would expect at least 2 papers, hopefully 3, to follow in the early months of 2015. This collaboration is at the interface between physics and medicine, with elements of engineering and biology.
Start Year 2013
 
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
 
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 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 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 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 Edge-illumination XPCi: an intrinsically incoherent phase contrast method, Coherent and incoherent x-ray imaging and tomography, EU "COST" Actions, La Sapienza, Rome, Italy, May 14-16 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact This is a EU wide action aimed at streamlining x-ray imaging activities and methods, especially related to phase including in 3D

Our group is becoming a key player in this EU consortium, which is leading to regular invitations at related events and a number of new collaboration opportunities emerging as a consequence.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Focus story on APS Physics "3D Images 10 Times Faster" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact One of our recent research results was picked up as a highlight by the widely read APS "News and Commentary" Website
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://physics.aps.org/articles/v10/48
 
Description Invited lecture at KTN event ("Translation of x-ray phase contrast imaging into real-world applications") 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact presenation of options provided by our new technology at Knowledge Transfer Network event
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
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 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 Origins, development and current state-of-the-art of edge-illumination x-ray phase contrast imaging, MART-3D: Advanced summer school on reconstruction methods in tomography, Carcans, Bordeaux, France Sept 12-16 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Series of opportunities from new technologies presented to both practising imaging scientists and imaging scientists of the future, from across a wide range of countries and application areas, with a particular interest in computed tomography
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
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 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 Presentation on "Multi-modal x-ray imaging" at the Academia-Government networking event on transport security, The Principal, Manchester, Nov 22 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This is an event organised by various Governmental Authorities to promote and enhance research on innovative technologies for transport security.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
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 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 Talk at "Tomography for Scientific Advancement" (ToScA2016), Bath, UK, Sept 6-7 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This is an event aimed at a wide audience which includes museums and many actors from the cultural heritage sector.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Towards the clinical translation of x-ray phase contrast imaging - UKRC 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Reaching out to radiologists and radiographers to raise awareness on new technological opportunities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
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 X-ray phase contrast imaging (XPCI) for small animal CT based on edge-illumination/coded aperture, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD, Aug 4 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a talk delivered by one of our key collaborators, Cha-Mei Tang CEO of Creatv Microtech, to a key cancer lab in the US to broker a new collaboration which we expect could be very productive.

New important collaboration created and joint NIH grant application submitted.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
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