Potential advantages of using synchrotron x-ray based techniques in pediatric research

L. Pascolo, F. Esteve, C. Rizzardi, S. James, R. H. Menk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Synchrotron radiation (SR), which combines extremely high intensity, high collimation, tunability, and continuous energy spectrum, allows the development of advanced X-ray based techniques that are becoming a uniquely useful tool in life science research, along providing exciting opportunities in biomedical imaging and radiotherapy. This review summarize emerging techniques and their potential to greatly enhance the exploration of dynamical biological process occurring across various spatial and temporal regimes, from whole body physiology, down to the location of individual chemical species within single cells. In recent years pediatric research and clinic practice have started to profit from these new opportunities, particularly by extending the diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities of these X-ray based techniques. In diagnosis, technical advances in DEI and KES imaging modalities have been demonstrated as particularly valuable for children and women since SR allows dose minimization, with significant reductions compared to conventional approaches. However, the greatest expectations are in the field of SR based radiotherapy, increasingly studies are demonstrating SR radiotherapy provides improved chances of recovery; this is especially the case for pediatric patients. In addition, we report on the applicability of advanced X-ray microscopy techniques that offer exceptional spatial and quantitative resolution in elemental detection. These techniques, which are useful for in vitro studies, will be particularly advantageous where investigators seek deeper understanding of diseases where mismetabolism of metals, either physiological important (i.e. Cu, Zn) or outright toxic (i.e. Pb), underlies pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2157-2175
Number of pages19
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Pediatric diseases
  • Phase contrast
  • Synchrotron
  • X - ray
  • XRF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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