Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

New Zealand scientists undertake the first 3D colour x-ray

New Zealand scientists undertake the first 3D colour x-ray

A company based out in New Zealand named Mars Bioimaging has revealed an innovative type of medical imaging scanner which operates similarly but adopts technology produced for the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to generate considerably more detailed issues.

Traditional X-rays produce a black image when passing through soft tissue and a white image when absorbed by denser bone material.

The Medipix3 chip is the most advanced chip available today and Professor Phil Butler recognises that "this technology sets the machine apart diagnostically because its small pixels and accurate energy resolution mean that this new imaging tool is able to get images that no other imaging tool can achieve".

CERN's physics lab helped with the imaging technology while Universities of Otago and Canterbury helped with developing the X-ray.

Medipix chips work like a camera - they identify individual sub-atomic particles that make contact with pixels while the electronic shutter is open. Their tech is based on detectors used by the Large Hadron Collider for measuring particles created by protons smashing together at almost the speed of light.

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This, in turn, allows getting high-resolution and high-contrast pictures.

They further describe their project by saying, The MARS small bore scanner enables customers to conduct experiments in a system that is directly translatable to human imaging.

The 3D color scans deliver significantly more medical information than a conventional X-ray, showing fat, water, calcium and disease markers. In the case of the 3D scanner, a license agreement has been established between CERN, on behalf of Medipix3 collaboration and MARS Bioimaging Ltd.

"In all of these studies, promising early results suggest that when spectral imaging is routinely used in clinics it will enable more accurate diagnosis and personalization of treatment", Anthony Butler concluded in the statement.

For now, it will still be years before the Spectral CT will be clear for use in the medical field but clinical trials are expected to start in the next few months in New Zealand.

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