EMCCD-Based High Resolution Dynamic X-Ray Detector for Neurovascular Interventions

EMCCD-Based High Resolution Dynamic X-Ray Detector for Neurovascular Interventions


Sharma, P., Vasan, S. N. S., Jain, A., Panse, A., Titus, A. H., Cartwright, A. N., Bednarek, D. R., & Rudin, S. (2011). EMCCD-Based High Resolution Dynamic X-Ray Detector for Neurovascular Interventions. Conference Proceedings of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2011, 7787–7790. doi:10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6091919


  • EMCCD (Electron Multiplying Charge Coupled Device)
  • X-ray detector
  • Neurovascular interventions
  • High resolution
  • Fiber optic plate (FOP)
  • Scintillator (specifically CsI(TI) - cesium iodide)
  • Fiber optic taper (FOT)
  • Multiplication gain
  • Quantum efficiency
  • Linearity
  • Cooling 


An EMCCD-based X-ray detector with high resolution for neurovascular features has been designed and developed.


This 2011 article, published in the Conference Proceedings of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, describes the design and development of a high-resolution, dynamic x-ray detector for use in neurovascular interventions. The authors, Sharma, Vasan, Jain, Panse, Titus, Cartwright, Bednarek, and Rudin, highlight the need for imaging systems with high resolution, speed, and sensitivity in these procedures. They note limitations in existing x-ray imaging systems, such as image distortion in x-ray image intensifiers (XII) and limited spatial resolution in both XIIs and flat panel detectors (FPDs).
The authors developed a new detector that utilizes an electron multiplying charge coupled device (EMCCD) to address these limitations. The prototype detector boasts a resolution of 9 cycles/mm at 15 frames per second and can capture real-time video at 30 frames per second.

Key components include:

  • EMCCD Sensor: This back-illuminated sensor boasts a high quantum efficiency and features a multiplication register stage that amplifies the signal before reaching the output amplifier, thereby improving the signal-to-noise ratio.
  • CsI(TI) Scintillator: This component converts incoming x-ray photons into light photons, with an emission spectrum that closely matches the EMCCD sensor's sensitivity.
  • Fiber Optic Components: Fiber optic plates and tapers channel light photons from the scintillator to the EMCCD, increasing the effective pixel size for improved visualization of small neurovascular features.

The detector's electronics consist of an analog front end (AFE) board for driving the EMCCD, and an FPGA board to generate clocks for the AFE. Data acquisition is handled by a CameraLink image acquisition board and the software platform LabVIEW.

Testing demonstrated that the EMCCD-based detector provides:

  • High Resolution: Resolving 9 cycles/mm, exceeding the capabilities of traditional XIIs and FPDs.
  • Linearity: Demonstrating a linear relationship between input x-ray photons and output signal.
  • Variable Multiplication Gain: Allowing for signal amplification and improved image quality, particularly for visualizing small neurovascular structures like stent struts.
  • No Secondary Quantum Sink: Ensuring that the system is x-ray quantum limited, minimizing unnecessary radiation exposure to the patient.

The authors conclude by highlighting the detector's suitability for neuro-endovascular imaging and note ongoing efforts to expand the field of view (FOV) using an array of EMCCD modules for broader clinical application.

Origin: https://europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=PMC3404466&blobtype=pdf
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