X-ray grating interferometry (GI) provides a particularly high sensitivity towards electron density variations, which renders this phase sensitive technique especially suitable for imaging soft tissues. GI yields the capability to identify subtle morphological variations in biological samples and, thus, has received increasing interest by the biomedical community in recent years. By utilising synchrotron radiation it is possible to acquire a tomographic data set with a few micrometer resolution within 1 hour or less.
Applications of GI at the TOMCAT beamline to answer specific biomedical questions will be presented. These investigations were performed in collaborations with other institutes as well as with external users. Examples include the monitoring of growth of tissue-engineered heart valves, the determination of the inner morphology of calcified aortic heart valve derived nodules and the measurements of vessel wall thickness of the aorta.
Further, it will be demonstrated that the retrieval of the ultra-small angle x-ray scattering distribution with GI (GI-USAXS)provides additional information about the sample with the same experimental data. GI-USAXS simultaneously offers a beneficial approach to data analysis as well as extends the number of complementary contrasts from previously three to potentially hundreds. GI-USAXS was also successfully combined with tomography, which yielded a first and general approach to tomographically reconstruct the angular resolved scatter distributions in the presence of multiple scattering events.