Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New chip set to revolutionise science and medicine

18.05.2004


An engineer at the University of Sheffield is leading a £4.5m project that could revolutionise the way scientists, medics and others see the world – by allowing the earlier detection of cancer, the instant analysis of medical screening tests, and permitting the emergency and security services to work effectively in murky surroundings. It will also open up broad tracts of science to unique high-quality imaging by enabling physicists to understand better the most fundamental interactions of matter, by providing better pictures from space, and probing in unprecedented detail the dynamics inside living cells.



The MI-3 project is focussing on developing and exploiting a new generation of programmable chips that will produce images that can be transformed even before they leave the camera. Active Pixel Sensors exploit the capabilities of Complimentary Metal Oxide Semi-Conductor (CMOS) Chips by allowing intelligent imaging that can focus right down to individual pixels. This project will also allow experts to view non-visible light, such as high-energy particles and x-rays and beyond to the ultra-violet spectrum and into the infra-red. The MI-3 project is part of the UK Research Councils Basic Technology Initiative and is a multi-disciplinary research group.

Professor Nigel Allinson from the University of Sheffield is leading this study. He explains, “The imaging technology in products like digital cameras and camcorders are called Charged Coupled Devices (CCD). They are great for what they do, but they are expensive and slow. Disposal applications, such as medical screening, need inexpensive technology. Also with CCDs you can only control the quality of an image by varying the exposure time and the aperture - much as you do with a normal film camera. With APS devices, the device itself can control read-out and each individual part of the image is treated. For example, you can choose to look only at a specific part of an image in detail, rather than exposing the whole picture and then trying to zoom in to an interesting region.


“The potential practical applications for this research are huge”, explains Professor Allinson. “Our research teams are working on several applications, including developing a new method for imaging mammograms, which reduces the X-ray dose needed to produce a good image. The transistors in the CMOS chips can be programmed to ensure that the patient is exposed to the smallest possible dose.

“This particular application could be in use in as little as two years. In four to five years we may be able to use APS chips to provide bedside diagnostic tools that will detect cancer at the earliest possible stages, being easier and faster than current body scanners.

“APS cameras are able to cope with images that have high contrast and this is important for scenes taken in adverse conditions. We already have unique technology for seeing through fog and smoke – of course, this not only benefits firemen and search and rescue teams but many areas of security.

”These are just some of the applications for this technology and we are excited to be involved in the development of such an exciting new range of devices.”

Lorna Branton | alfa
Further information:
http://www.shef.ac.uk

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Bursting the clouds for better communication
18.10.2018 | Université de Genève

nachricht Research on light-matter interaction could improve electronic and optoelectronic devices
11.10.2018 | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nanocages in the lab and in the computer: how DNA-based dendrimers transport nanoparticles

19.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Thin films from Braunschweig on the way to Mercury

19.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

App-App-Hooray! - Innovative Kits for AR Applications

19.10.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>