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X-ray phase-contrast imaging is an effective approach to drastically increase the contrast and sensitivity of microtomographic techniques. Numerous approaches to depict the real part of the complex-valued refractive index of a specimen are nowadays available. A comparative study using experimental data from grating-based interferometry and propagation-based phase contrast combined with single-distance phase retrieval applied to a non-homogeneous sample is presented (acquired at beamline ID19-ESRF). It is shown that grating-based interferometry can handle density gradients in a superior manner. The study underlines the complementarity of the two techniques for practical applications.

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