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Simulation for medical imaging with X-rays

Due to the non-linear behavior of current imaging techniques using X-rays (CT, mammography), new measures are required for the evaluation of image quality. The development of such measurements and their reliable determination is crucial for an optimal balance between necessary radiation exposure and required image quality for reliable diagnostics. The development of so-called "model observers" and the characterization of their uncertainty is a active field of research. Virtual experiments can significantly support this development.

Current state

In 2016, the PTB started the development of methods for the assessment of image quality in CT and mammography in a cooperation of the departments 6 (ionizing radiation) and 8 (medical physics and information technology). Besides the development of new estimation methods, virtual experiments for CT and mammography are currently being developed. The aim is to achieve a simulation that is as realistic as possible. The virtual experiments shall be used for the development and validation of methods for the evaluation of image quality.

In this field, PTB cooperates with 3 national reference centres for mammography (Münster, Oldenburg, Marburg), the EUREF centre in Nijmegen (NL), the University of Leiden (NL), the CEA (F), NPL (UK), as well as Charité and TU Berlin.

Aims and outlook

Based on PTB-financed temporary positions and acquired third-party funds, the research topics are promoted in a targeted manner. PTB is also actively involved in committees (e.g. AK CT) with the aim of implementing the procedures developed at PTB in practice. Cooperation with industry is also being sought.

The project is already very well organised across departments. Through the embedding in VirtMet, the approaches and solutions developed in the project become accessible to other areas as well, and a continuous, active exchange takes place.