New Zealand-based Mars Bioimaging has unveiled the Mars Microlab 5X120 medical device, the first commercial 3D color X-ray scanner. A feasibility study has been drawn up and clinical trials in dozens of countries around the world will begin next year. The time has come to forget about flat black and white photographs and adopt new, advanced methods of internal diagnostics.
3D X-ray scanning technology analyzes the behavior of each photon that hits each pixel of the sensor in order to understand their interaction with the tissues of the body, down to individual atoms. This is no exaggeration, since the scanner is based on the Medipix3 chip developed at CERN for the Large Hadron Collider, where the highest measurement accuracy was required. Decades of development should pay off, technology needs to be used as much as possible, so a test scan of the human body was carried out back in 2018.
The merit of Mars Bioimaging in the creation of an applied tool, a compact medical scanner based on the Medipix3 chip. The device has dimensions of 1×1.4×0.75 m. The chip processes the collected data and builds a 3D model, automatically recognizing and dyeing individual fabrics in different colors. Bones are white, fat is yellow, muscles are pink, and implants are green or blue, plus you can even see the location of small blood vessels with it.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of the novelty, a scan was carried out of patients with a fracture of the scaphoid bone – a small bone in the palm, which often suffers when landing hard on the hands. A scan was performed one month after the fracture to analyze the healing process, and in all cases, abnormalities were found, such as displacements, the presence of bone fragments, sclerosis, etc. Such an accurate diagnosis helped doctors adjust treatment and avoid complications – this is the purpose of the new scanner.