A Novel High-Intensity Area X-ray Source

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R41RR020836-01
Agency Tracking Number: RR020836
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
NESCH, LLC., 1105 W 163RD AVE, STE 303, CROWN POINT, IN, 46307
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (312) 567-3122
Business Contact
Phone: (312) 567-3122
Research Institution
Chicago, IL, 60616
 Nonprofit college or university
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Diffraction enhanced imaging (DE I) is a novel approach to X-ray imaging, which can revolutionize X-ray medical imaging, because of its greater contrast at lower X-ray doses than conventional radiography. DEI relies on measuring tiny angular deflections of a collimated X -ray beam as it passes through the object (patient) in acquiring the images. The capability of DEI detecting low-density features in low-density matrices will make it especially useful in medical diagnoses and research. An essential prerequisite for optimizing DEI and using it with highly reproducible and predictable precision in a routine application such as medical applications is to have sufficiently intense X-ray source. Such are only available at synchrotron sources or possibly with very high-power rotating anode X-ray sources, which are expensive to purchase and complex to operate. The potential impact of this technology in medical imaging research, and subsequently in clinical use, will far exceed the current or projected capacity of available synchrotron beam lines. The use of DEI in clinical or laboratory settings will create an unprecedented market for specialty high-intensity X-ray sources. Unlike most X-ray imaging methods, DEI does not require a point source of radiation. Furthermore, DEI can fully use a line source due to its use of diffracting crystal optics, while having extremely high resolution in one direction defined by the projected source line width, and in the other defined by the detector resolution. Therefore, production of a high-intensity line X-ray source is of primary importance for widespread DEI application. In general, our goal is to enable the implementation of DEI in different areas such as clinical settings outside the synchrotron facilities. Specifically we propose to: 1) Design, bulled, and test a novel, stationary anode, area X-ray source (50 mm x 12 mm electron impact area) for much higher intensity X-ray emission than is currently feasible from a sealed X-ray source by employing dispenser emitter cathodes (not known to have been used in similar applications before), and 2) Experimentally characterize the uniformity, stability and reliability of the source performance over extended periods of time. Based on the knowledge and the experience we have, we are confident that the approach we will take is realistic and feasible. At the completion of the proposed Phase I project, we anticipate the following results: 1. A working alpha prototype (system). 2. A performance characterization of the system.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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