A dual micro-CT system for small animal imaging

C. T. Badea, S. Johnston, B. Johnson, M. Lin, L. W. Hedlund, G. Allan Johnson

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


Micro-CT is a non-invasive imaging modality usually used to assess morphology in small animals. In our previous work, we have demonstrated that functional micro-CT imaging is also possible. This paper describes a dual microCT system with two fixed x-ray/detectors developed to address such challenging tasks as cardiac or perfusion studies in small animals. A two-tube/detector system ensures simultaneous acquisition of two projections, thus reducing scanning time and the number of contrast injections in perfusion studies by a factor of two. The system is integrated with software developed in-house for cardio-respiratory monitoring and gating. The sampling geometry was optimized for 88 microns in such a way that the geometric blur of the focal spot matches the Nyquist sample at the detector. A geometric calibration procedure allows one to combine projection data from the two chains into a single reconstructed volume. Image quality was measured in terms of spatial resolution, uniformity, noise, and linearity. The modulation transfer function (MTF) at 10% is 3.4 lp/mm for single detector reconstructions and 2.3 lp/mm for dual tube/detector reconstructions. We attribute this loss in spatial resolution to the compounding of slight errors in the separate single chain calibrations. The dual micro-CT system is currently used in studies for morphological and functional imaging of both rats and mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2008 - Physics of Medical Imaging
StatePublished - May 14 2008
EventMedical Imaging 2008 - Physics of Medical Imaging - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 18 2008Feb 21 2008

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2008 - Physics of Medical Imaging
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Calibration
  • Cardiac imaging
  • Micro-CT
  • Small animal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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  • Cite this

    Badea, C. T., Johnston, S., Johnson, B., Lin, M., Hedlund, L. W., & Johnson, G. A. (2008). A dual micro-CT system for small animal imaging. In Medical Imaging 2008 - Physics of Medical Imaging [691342] (Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE; Vol. 6913). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.772303