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X-ray imaging has proved invaluable in medical diagnoses and non-destructive testing (NDT) in the past century. However, there remain two major limitations: radiation harm and inaccessibility to the sample. A recent imaging modality, X-ray induced acoustic computed tomography (XACT), allows a novel solution. In XACT, x-ray induced excitation causes localized heating (<mK) and thermoelastic expansion. This induces a detectable ultrasonic emission, thereby enabling imaging. XACT has the potential to enable low-dose, fast, 3D imaging requiring only single side access. We discuss the fundamentals of XACT and summarize milestones in its evolution over the past several years since its first demonstration using a Medical Linear Accelerator. We highlight XACT's potential applications in biomedical imaging and NDT, and discuss the latest advanced concepts and future directions.

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Density measurement, Image guided therapy, Low dose CT, Non-destructive testing, Radiation dosimetry, X-ray beam characterization, X-ray induced acoustic computed tomography