Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New method of using nanotube x-rays creates CT images faster than traditional scanners

07.08.2006
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a new method to create computed tomography (CT) images using carbon nanotube x-rays that works much faster than traditional scanners and uses less peak power.

The work is another step toward developing scanners for medical imaging and homeland security that are smaller, faster, and less expensive to operate, said Dr. Otto Zhou, Lyle Jones Distinguished Professor of Materials Science, in the curriculum in applied and materials sciences and the department of physics and astronomy, both in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences.

"The current CT scanners take images sequentially, which is slow and inefficient. Using the nanotube x-ray technology, we show in this paper the feasibility of multiplexing - taking multiple images at the same time," Zhou said.

Carbon nanotubes, made of layers of carbon atoms, can be as small as one nanometer - one billionth of a meter - in diameter. The UNC team uses them in this work because they can emit electrons without high heat.

The new development is published in the current edition of the journal Applied Physics Letters. The lead author of the paper is Dr. Jian Zhang, a postdoctoral research associate in the UNC School of Medicine's department of radiation oncology. In addition to Zhou, other authors - all from UNC - are Dr. Sha Chang, associate professor of radiation oncology; doctoral candidate Guan Yang and Dr. Jianping Lu, professor of condensed matter physics, both of the department of physics and astronomy; and Dr. Yueh Lee, an intern at the medical school and an adjunct assistant professor in physics and astronomy.

Traditional CT scanners use a single x-ray source that takes approximately 1,000 images from multiple angles by mechanically rotating either the x-ray source or the object being scanned at high speed.

In 2005, Zhou and colleagues created a scanner with multiple x-ray sources, called a multipixel scanner. The machine required no mechanical motion but switched rapidly among many x-ray sources, each taking an image of the object from a different angle in fast succession.

The team's newest innovation combines this multiple-x-ray-source innovation with a principle called multiplexing, in which all the x-ray sources are turned on simultaneously to capture images from multiple views at the same time.

"Let's take a simple case where suppose you need 10 images," Zhou said. "Let's say each view take one second. In the conventional step-and-shoot method used for the current CT scanners, you take one shot, and the first pixel stays on for one second. Then we turn on the second pixel, and that stays on for one second." The whole process would take 10 seconds.

"With multiplexing, we can have all the x-ray pixels on at the same time for maybe 2 seconds. You still get all the images, only faster, and we need only about half of the original x-ray peak power," Zhou said.

Multiplexing is a known concept used by, for instance, cellular phones. Millions of cell phone signals travel along the same frequency band, then are separated into coherent messages at their destinations.

"What makes the multiplexing CT scanning possible is the novel multi-pixel x-ray source we developed and the ability to program each x-ray pixel electronically," Zhou said.

In this study, Zhou and colleagues took images of a computer circuit board using a prototype multiplexing scanner, then compared the images to those generated by a traditional x-ray scanner. The images showed little difference in resolution or clarity, but the prototype multiplexing scanner got the job done faster.

"For this paper we built a prototype or demonstration scanner that gives a limited number of views, to image a simple object," Zhou said. "Our next step is to develop a small CT scanner for small animal imaging."

The work was funded by the National Cancer Institute (through the Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (both part of the National Institutes of Health); the Transportation Security Administration; and Xintek, Inc.

Clinton Colmenares | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unc.edu

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht 'Memtransistor' brings world closer to brain-like computing
22.02.2018 | Northwestern University

nachricht MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies
20.02.2018 | Radiological Society of North America

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>