Application of X-ray grating interferometry for the imaging of joint structures

Masabumi Nagashima, Junji Tanaka, Junko Kiyohara, Chiho Makifuchi, Kazuhiro Kido, Atsushi Momose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional X-ray absorption contrast imaging does not depict soft tissues, such as cartilage, in sufficient detail. For visualization of the soft tissues, X-ray phase-contrast imaging is more sensitive than absorption-contrast imaging. The basic concept of the X-ray phase-contrast imaging used in this study is similar to that of differential interference contrast (Nomarski) microscopy. We applied Talbot-Lau X-ray interferometry to visualize the joint structures in the right hand and knee of a donated cadaver. This imaging system simultaneously produced three different types of images: an absorption image, a differential phase image, and a visibility image. The interface between the articular cartilage of the metacarpo-phalangeal joint and fluid or the bony cortex was clearly demonstrated on the differential phase image, whereas this interface was unclear on the absorption image. Within the knee joint, the surface of the articular cartilage was demonstrated both on the differential phase and visibility images; the medial collateral ligament and medial meniscus were also visualized successfully. These results are clinically significant for the diagnosis and therapeutic estimation of rheumatoid arthritis and related joint diseases. This feasibility study on the clinical application of this imaging tool was a collaborative effort of researchers in the fields of physics, radiology, and gross anatomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalAnatomical Science International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar


  • Articular cartilage
  • Cadaver study
  • Differential interference contrast microscopy
  • Talbot-Lau interferometry
  • X-ray phase-contrast imaging


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