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The purpose of this work is to propose a cost function with regularization to iteratively reconstruct attenuation, phase, and scatterimages simultaneously from differential phase contrast (DPC) acquisitions, without the need of phase retrieval, and examine its properties. Furthermore this reconstruction method is applied to an acquisition pattern that is suitable for a DPC tomographic system with continuously rotating gantry (sliding window acquisition), overcoming the severe smearing in noniterative reconstruction.

We derive a penalized maximum likelihood reconstruction algorithm to directly reconstruct attenuation, phase, and scatterimage from the measured detector values of a DPC acquisition. The proposed penalty comprises, for each of the three images, an independent smoothing prior. Image quality of the proposed reconstruction is compared to images generated with FBP and iterative reconstruction after phase retrieval. Furthermore, the influence between the priors is analyzed. Finally, the proposed reconstruction algorithm is applied to experimental sliding window data acquired at a synchrotron and results are compared to reconstructions based on phase retrieval.

The results show that the proposed algorithm significantly increases image quality in comparison to reconstructions based on phase retrieval. No significant mutual influence between the proposed independent priors could be observed. Further it could be illustrated that the iterative reconstruction of a sliding window acquisition results in images with substantially reduced smearing artifacts.

Although the proposed cost function is inherently nonconvex, it can be used to reconstructimages with less aliasing artifacts and less streak artifacts than reconstruction methods based on phase retrieval. Furthermore, the proposed method can be used to reconstructimages of sliding window acquisitions with negligible smearing artifacts.


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