New Bioimaging Technology to Produce Full-Color 3D X-Rays

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The color X-ray technology can improve the field of medical diagnostics by utilizing particle-tracking technology developed for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider

European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and Mars Bioimaging, New Zealand-based startup in collaboration with the Universities of Canterbury and Otago developed the world’s first full-color 3D X-rays, which provides accurate images as compared to conventional x-ray images. According to the manufacturers, Medipix3 chip is the most advanced chips available in the world. “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,” said Phil Butler in a statement published by CERN.

The MARS scanner uses a range of chips called Medipix, which was developed to track particles at the Large Hadron Collider. Medipix works similar to camera — when the electronic shutter is open, each individual particle is detected and counted, creating high-res, accurate, noise-free images. When used with the Butlers’ MARS scanner and its software, the chips help to produce highly accurate, striking, three-dimensional color renderings of the human body that distinguish materials such as metal, bone, soft tissue, and fat with different tones.

Recently the technology has been used to study cancer, vascular diseases that lead to strokes and heart attacks, and bone and joint health. Furthermore according to the company, MARS Bioimaging Ltd plans to commercialize the scanner in near future. “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,” said Anthony Butler in the statement. Moreover to examine the efficacy of technology, a group of orthopedic and rheumatology patients in New Zealand will be scanned in clinical trials over the next few months.

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