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  • March 22, 2019
  • Inscoe, Christina
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Applied Physical Sciences, Materials Science Graduate Program
  • The use of carbon nanotube cathodes for x-ray generation was pioneered and perfected by our team in the Applied Nanotechnology Laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Over the past decade, carbon nanotube (CNT) field emission x-ray source technology has matured and translated into multiple pre-clinical and clinical devices. One of the most prominent implementations of CNT x-ray technology is a limited angle tomography method called tomosynthesis, which is rapidly emerging in clinical radiography. The purpose of this project is two-fold, to develop and characterize to the latest iteration, stationary intraoral tomosynthesis, and develop a low-dose, effective scatter reduction technique for breast and chest tomosynthesis. The first portion of this project was to develop and evaluate a new quasi-3D imaging modality for dental imaging. My work consists of experiments which dictated the design parameters and subsequent system evaluation of the dedicated s-IOT clinical prototype system currently installed in the UNC Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology clinic in the School of Dentistry. Experiments were performed in our lab to determine optimal source array geometry and system configuration. The system was fabricated by our commercial partner then housed in our research lab where I performed initial characterization and assisted with software development. After installation in the SOD, I performed additional system characterization, including source output validation, dosimetry, and quantification of resolution. The system components and software were refined through a rapid feedback loop with the engineers involved. Four pre-clinical imaging studies have been performed in collaboration with several dentists using phantoms, extracted teeth, and cadaveric dentition. I have generated an operating manual and trained four dental radiologists in the use of the s-IOT device. The system has now been vetted and is ready for patient use. The second portion of this project consists of hardware development and implementation of an image processing technique for scatter correction. The primary sampling scatter correction (PSSC) is a beam pass technique to measure the primary transmission through the patient and calculate the scatter profile for subtraction. Though developed for breast and chest tomosynthesis, utilization in mammography and chest radiography are also demonstrated in this project. This dissertation is composed of five chapters. Chapters one and two provide the basics of x-ray generation and a brief history of the evolution of carbon nanotube x-ray source technology in our lab at UNC. Chapter three focuses on stationary intraoral tomosynthesis. The first section provides background information on dental radiology and project motivation. Sections 3.2 and 3.3 detail my work in benchtop feasibility and optimization studies, as well as characterization and evaluation of the clinical prototype. Chapter four introduces scatter in imaging, providing motivation for my work on primary sampling scatter correction (PSSC) image processing method, detailed in chapter five.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Lalush, David
  • Superfine, Richard
  • Lee, Yueh
  • Lu, Jianping
  • Zhou, Otto
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2018

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