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2005 RET Participant Steve Harden

Steve Harden
Father Ryan High School
Chemistry Teacher

Drs Edwin Donnelly and Ronald Price Ð Medical Imaging Lab

All the research involved phase contrast X-rays. Phase contrast X-rays images are generated using in phase X-rays. These X-rays are generated by using a small focal point X-ray source that is separated from the object (in effect the X-rays seem to be coming from a point source which insures that they are basically in phase). Some of the X-rays will be deflected when they hit the side of the object. This deflection causes a small area of constructive interference and a small area of destructive interference around the object, which results in a thing black line and a thin white line outlining the edge of the object. This effect is really small but can be magnified by increasing the distance from the object to the detector.

I also studied the readability of conventional X-ray images vs. phase contrast. X-ray images by creating a test using images of objects containing small fibers, specks, and masses. The test was given to a group of people familiar to reading X-rays.

Finally, I worked on a project that was trying to find phase contrast edge enhancement of CT X-ray images.


My module is based on one of the other studies in the same lab they were monitoring the bone growth of an implant in a rat. So, my challenge question is how could a radiologist determine the density of bone in a person (without harming the person of course). To answer the question the students will have to learn about density, electromagnetic waves, and spectrometry.