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Title: Improving x-ray fluorescence signal for benchtop polychromatic cone-beam x-ray fluorescence computed tomography by incident x-ray spectrum optimization: A Monte Carlo study

Purpose: To develop an accurate and comprehensive Monte Carlo (MC) model of an experimental benchtop polychromatic cone-beam x-ray fluorescence computed tomography (XFCT) setup and apply this MC model to optimize incident x-ray spectrum for improving production/detection of x-ray fluorescence photons from gold nanoparticles (GNPs). Methods: A detailed MC model, based on an experimental XFCT system, was created using the Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP) transport code. The model was validated by comparing MC results including x-ray fluorescence (XRF) and scatter photon spectra with measured data obtained under identical conditions using 105 kVp cone-beam x-rays filtered by either 1 mm of lead (Pb) or 0.9 mm of tin (Sn). After validation, the model was used to investigate the effects of additional filtration of the incident beam with Pb and Sn. Supplementary incident x-ray spectra, representing heavier filtration (Pb: 2 and 3 mm; Sn: 1, 2, and 3 mm) were computationally generated and used with the model to obtain XRF/scatter spectra. Quasimonochromatic incident x-ray spectra (81, 85, 90, 95, and 100 keV with 10 keV full width at half maximum) were also investigated to determine the ideal energy for distinguishing gold XRF signal from the scatter background. Fluorescence signal-to-dose ratio (FSDR) and fluorescence-normalizedmore » scan time (FNST) were used as metrics to assess results. Results: Calculated XRF/scatter spectra for 1-mm Pb and 0.9-mm Sn filters matched (r ≥ 0.996) experimental measurements. Calculated spectra representing additional filtration for both filter materials showed that the spectral hardening improved the FSDR at the expense of requiring a much longer FNST. In general, using Sn instead of Pb, at a given filter thickness, allowed an increase of up to 20% in FSDR, more prominent gold XRF peaks, and up to an order of magnitude decrease in FNST. Simulations using quasimonochromatic spectra suggested that increasing source x-ray energy, in the investigated range of 81–100 keV, increased the FSDR up to a factor of 20, compared to 1 mm Pb, and further facilitated separation of gold XRF peaks from the scatter background. Conclusions: A detailed MC model of an experimental benchtop XFCT system has been developed and validated. In exemplary calculations to illustrate the usefulness of this model, it was shown that potential use of quasimonochromatic spectra or judicious choice of filter material/thickness to tailor the spectrum of a polychromatic x-ray source can significantly improve the performance of benchtop XFCT, while considering trade-offs between FSDR and FNST. As demonstrated, the current MC model is a reliable and powerful computational tool that can greatly expedite the further development of a benchtop XFCT system for routine preclinical molecular imaging with GNPs and other metal probes.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Nuclear/Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332 (United States)
  2. Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado 80045 (United States)
  3. Department of Radiation Physics and Department of Imaging Physics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22409536
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: (c) 2014 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY; FLUORESCENCE; GOLD; MONTE CARLO METHOD; NANOPARTICLES; SPECTRAL HARDENING; X RADIATION; X-RAY FLUORESCENCE ANALYSIS; X-RAY SPECTRA