Optical CT scanning for experimental demonstration of medical x-ray CT and SPECT

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Learning the concept of computerised tomography (CT) and single photon emission tomography (SPECT) by biomedical engineering and medical physics students is hampered by limited access to clinical scanners. The use of ionising radiation and radioactive sources in x-ray CT and SPECT further complicates the design of a teaching laboratory session. We here propose an inexpensive and safe educational demonstration tool for CT and SPECT whereby a visible light source serves as source and a charge-coupled device camera serves as detector. The equivalent of a SPECT radionuclide in optical CT scanning is a chemiluminescent material which can be obtained relatively inexpensive in the form of party glow sticks. The proposed teaching tool comprises several learning outcomes such as hands-on construction of the scanner, the acquisition of images and image reconstruction. Also, different imaging artefacts can be simulated and investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number024001
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Physics
Issue number2
Early online date8 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • optical CT scanning
  • teaching demonstration
  • computed tomography
  • medical imaging
  • x-ray CT
  • medical physics


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