Scientists Take First Ever Color X-ray of Human Body

  • Scientists Take First Ever Color X-ray of Human Body

Scientists Take First Ever Color X-ray of Human Body

Scientists in New Zealand has performed the first ever 3D colour X-ray on humans, with the support of CERN physics lab.

Traditional X-rays produce a black image when passing through soft tissue and a white image when absorbed by denser bone material.

"The image of this new image can not be obtained with other image tools due to the small pixels and specific energy resolution of the machine", said Phill Butler, a student of University of Canterbury. They focused on the same scanning mechanism but employed a sophisticated imaging technology developed at CERN called Medipix.

Similar to a camera, the device, named Medipix3, collects individual sub-atomic particles as they collide with pixels, producing high resolution, colourful images, guaranteeing a more accurate detection and diagnosis, not only with bone matter, but with surrounding tissues.

This technology is now being commercialized by New Zealand company MARS Bioimaging Ltd, which is linked to two universities that helped develop it: Otago and Canterbury. Their tech is based on detectors used by the Large Hadron Collider for measuring particles created by protons smashing together at almost the speed of light. This new technology provides an accurate picture of the x-ray site that will allow for more accurate diagnosis of medical conditions. The Medipix3 chip is now the most advanced chip available.

This allows for high-contrast, high-resolution pictures to be produced at a quick rate. "In addition, Mars scanners have a much smaller pixel size, meaning its possible to generate 1000x more information than existing CT systems for the same dose". The colours represent different energy levels of the X-ray photons as recorded by the detector hence identifying different components of body parts such as fat, water, calcium, and disease markers.

CERN's Knowledge Transfer group has a long-standing expertise in transferring CERN technologies, in particular for medical applications.

The scanner will be used in world first clinical trials involving Rheumatology and orthopedic patients in forthcoming months.