A Quick Recap
So, X-ray stands for ‘X-radiation’ and was discovered by the German scientist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen on the 8th of November back in 1895. How it works is a specialized machine emits ionizing radiation through your body and leaves an imprint on a detector screen. Through the appropriate software, a computer can convert this imprint into a digital image.
The MARS Project
The University of Canterbury in New Zealand received $12 million in funding and the opportunity to develop the first color x-ray scan machine in 2014. What the university produced was the MARS project, which stands for Medipix All Resolution System. This project entailed the development of a tiny x-ray detector called the Medipix chip. Think of it as a very advanced filter that only picks up x-ray as thin image slices.
The new features
Imagine x-rays in color and a lot more detail. Excitedly, the University of Canterbury created an electronic chip that helps produce a much clearer x-ray. This advancement radiates with possibilities, especially in the cancer field. The improved quality imagery will be able to recognize tumors more precisely. The Medipix Chip is also able to provide more information from bone density scans. This insight can be of significant help in terms of predicting certain bone-related diseases like osteoporosis. A massive milestone of this project is its advanced technological components, allowing it to be applicable in emergencies. The flexibility of these detectors has improved their scale, which means they can scan your toe or a truck in an accident. The Medipix detectors can be attached to any surface if the area can accommodate the slabs required to imprint the x-ray image.
When it comes to something that requires heavy investments of time, knowledge, and money, it’s not going to be a quick sell. Not only is the machinery particularly expensive with very tight criteria of application, but it also falls into a niche market that has a very narrow investment chamber. The detectors used to capture the x-ray images are slabs made of inorganic material. The machinery is also new and requires a committed staff willing to take on the task of acquiring the skills to operate it. The team at the University of Canterbury has provided the world with something that doesn’t only revolutionize the way we engage with x-ray imagery but shows a glimpse of what similar advances are on the horizon. Stay tuned for more updates and insights into the world of science.