Modern medicine has a huge number of devices to be able to see in the human body. X-rays have been the start in the development of technologies such as Tomografia Axial, which enables you to view 3D images of the organs within the body. Through a series of algorithms, the X-ray images taken in the ct scanner, generating, eventually, a 3D image of what we are wanting to observe. However, these images are still in black-and-white and in many cases physicians must rely on their skill and experience to understand what the plates show.
Now a company from New Zealand has developed a scanner of a bio-images that can be produced in 3D and full color, images of bones, fat and soft tissue, this is all thanks to a chip developed at CERN for the use of the Large hadron Collider.
Mars Bioimaging, the company behind this new scanner, describes this as the leap that was made from photographs of black-and-white to color. This new technology called “Spectral CT”, makes the sensor measure the attenuation of the specific wavelength of X-rays as they pass through the different materials, bones, fats, tissues, etc. The data generated are run through specific algorithms, and then generates a 3D image that clearly shows muscle, bone, water, fat, disease markers, etc. The end result is downright remarkable.
The heart of the scanner Spectra TC is the chip Medipix3. This device, which detects and counts each individual particle that hits the sensor, originally developed at CERN to keep track of the particles that pass through the Large hadron Collider. Come on, this is a by-product of interesting research that is done in that expensive toy that is in Switzerland.
It has been tested a smaller version of the device to see how well you can diagnose the health of the bones, for example, or to find cancer, or perhaps, watch for specific markers as a product of vascular diseases. Up to now the result is very promising.
“In all studies, the first results are promising and it is suggested that when using the spectral imaging on a routine basis in the clinic, this will allow a more accurate diagnosis and personalization of treatments,” said Anthony Butler, one of the creators of this 3D scanner.
The first clinical trials will begin in the following months in New Zealand, and will be tested in patients in the departments of orthopedics and rheumatology.