According to Photonics Online, physicists from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the TU München have developed a method using laser-generated X-rays and phase-contrast X-ray tomography to produce three-dimensional images of soft tissue structures in organisms.
With laser light, physicists in Munich have built a miniature X-ray source. Researchers used this to capture three-dimensional images of ultrafine structures in the body of a living organism for the first time with the help of laser-generated X-rays. The new imaging method could make future medical applications more cost-effective and space-efficient than is possible with today’s technologies.
The technology is particularly interesting for medical applications, as it is able to distinguish between differences in tissue density. Cancer tissue, for example, is less dense than healthy tissue. The method therefore opens up the prospect of detecting tumors that are less than one millimeter in diameter in an early stage of growth before they spread through the body and exert their lethal effect. Very exciting things happening in the world of x-ray technology!