X-ray Physics Laboratory


The X-ray Physics Laboratory is the oldest research section in the Department of Radiology; it can trace its roots to the pioneering work of Arthur Goodspeed, PhD, who acquired the first radiograph in Philadelphia on February 4, 1896.

Today, the central focus of the lab is on the development of advanced methods for breast cancer imaging, including digital mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). Research efforts include the modeling and development of novel imaging systems, methods for characterizing image system performance and observer performance, and the development of novel image-based biomarkers for breast cancer risk assessment and prognosis.

Significant effort has been expended in recent years on the development of contrast-enhanced digital breast tomosynthesis. This pioneering work is predicated upon the desire to combine morphologic and functional information to improve breast cancer diagnosis.

The laboratory is well equipped to perform fundamental x-ray system development, radiation dosimetry, phantom development, radiographic clinical trial support, and psychophysical observer studies.

Pre-contrast DBT (right) demonstrates a spiculated mass in the upper right breast projecting over the pectoralis muscle and corresponding to the location of a focal asymmetry on digital mammography (arrow). The mass displays avid nonionic contrast enhancement on CE-DBT (middle). A subtracted reconstructed CE-DBT image (bottom right) highlights this enhancing mass.