Voxel, a European Union-funded research project, may provide a technique that significantly reduces radiation levels for patients, according to a report in Science X.

VOXEL’s focus was to adapt the complementary technique of plenoptic imaging to X-ray tomography in order to significantly lower the associated radiation dose. Instead of taking thousands of 2-D photos, plenoptic systems capture the directions travelled by light rays, information which can then be used by researchers to reconstruct 3-D images. 

Although X-ray plenoptic systems are still under development, they have the possibility to help virus researchers,” said the project’s coordinator Marta Fajardo. “For instance, they might be very useful for the fast screening of biological samples, and at resolution lower than what is reachable on the best X-ray tomography systems.” 

VOXEL prototyped two plenoptic cameras. One system can image centimetre-sized biological samples, targeting a 1 micrometer resolution adapted to image full or partial organs. The second can capture 10s micrometre samples, targeting a sub-micrometre resolution typical of cell, neuron and vacuole imaging.

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