Characterization of a novel microCT detector for small animal computed tomogaphy (CT)

Samta C. Thacker, Vivek V. Nagarkar, Hongjie J. Liang, Valeny Gaysinskiy, Stuart Miller, Simon R Cherry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


The development of new small animal imaging techniques such as high-speed microCT and low-dose microCT often requires investigating optimal detector parameters and imaging techniques. This paper presents an approach to develop a low-dose microCT detector based on a novel, back-thinned, back-illuminated electron multiplying CCD (EMCCD) coupled to a high performance microcolumnar CsI scintillator via a fiberoptic taper. Our goal is to achieve high DQE(0) for X-ray energies typically used in small animal imaging (40 to 80 kVp), providing high quality imaging at substantially reduced dose. Towards achieving this goal we have developed a novel EMCCD camera fitted with a fiberoptic window. To enhance the imaging area we fabricated additional fiberoptic tapers measuring 3:1 and 6:1 in demagnification ratio, mechanically coupled to the EMCCD. The high sensitivity and internal gain of the EMCCD is further exploited in our system design by the use of a thick CsI screen. These screens not only provide higher absorption for 40 to 80 kVp X-rays, but even at -200 μm thickness maintain a high resolution of up to 11 lp/mm. This paper outlines the quantitative performance of each detector component and the detector as a whole. While the detector demonstrated the potential for achieving the targeted DQE performance, it also showed that mechanical coupling of the tapers to the CCD results in unacceptable light loss, and that direct CCD-to-taper bonding and using new versions of large-area EMCCD chips would be better options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
EditionPART 2
StatePublished - 2007
EventMedical Imaging 2007: Physics of Medical Imaging - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 18 2007Feb 22 2007


OtherMedical Imaging 2007: Physics of Medical Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Computed tomography
  • CsI(Tl)
  • Digital x-ray imaging
  • Small animal imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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