July 14, 2009 - Researchers detected amyloid beta plaques with a diameter of less than 30 µm in a mouse brain by doing CT diffraction-enhanced imaging, according to researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, N.Y., and the State University of New York, Stony Brook.
The diffraction enhanced imaging tool the researchers used employs X-rays generated from Brookhaven's National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) synchrotron source. To make a diffraction-enhanced image, X-rays from the synchrotron are first tuned to one wavelength before being beamed at an anatomical structure or slide. As the monochromatic (single wavelength) beam passes through the tissue, the X-rays scatter and refract, or bend, at different angles depending on the characteristics of the tissue. The subtle scattering and refraction are detected by what is called an analyzer crystal, which diffracts the X-rays by different amounts according to their scattering angles.
The diffracted beam is passed onto a radiographic plate or digital recorder, which documents the differences in intensity to show the interior structural details.
The researchers hope this technique will enable early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
For more information: www.nsls.bnl.gov