Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biomedical Engineering and Imaging

Research Advisor

Frank A. DiBianca, Ph.D.


Jack W. Buchanan, M.D. Gary S. Keyes, Ph.D. Robert J. Ogg, Ph.D. Herbert D. Zeman, Ph.D.


A variable resolution x-ray (VRX) computed tomography (CT) scanner can image objects of various sizes with greatly improved spatial resolution. The scanner employs an angulated discrete detector and achieves the resolution boost by matching the detector angulation to the scanner field of view (FOV) determined by the size of an object being imaged. A comprehensive evaluation of spatial resolution in an experimental version of the VRX CT scanner is presented in this dissertation. Two components of this resolution were evaluated – the pre-reconstruction spatial resolution, described by the detector presampling modulation transfer function (MTF), and the post-reconstruction spatial resolution, given by the scanner reconstruction MTF. The detector presampling MTF was modeled by the Monte Carlo simulation and measured by the moving-slit method. The modeled results showed the increase in the maximum cutoff frequency (in the detector plane) from 1.53 to 53.64 cycles per mm (cy/mm) as the scanner FOV decreased from 32 to 1 cm. The measured results supported the modeling, except for the small FOVs (below 8 cm), where the MTF could not be measured up to the cutoff frequency due to the focal-spot limitation. The scanner reconstruction MTF was measured by the special-phantom method. The measured results demonstrated the increase in the average cutoff frequency (in the object plane) from 2.44 to 4.13 cy/mm as the scanner FOV decreased from 16 to 8 cm. The MTF could not be measured at the FOVs other than 8 and 16 cm, due to the calibration-reconstruction inaccuracies and, again, the focal-spot limitation. Overall, the evaluation confirmed the potential value of the VRX CT scanner and produced results important for its further development.