New Full-Color 3D X-Ray Can See Right Through You

Tuesday, 17 July 2018 - 10:17AM
Science News
Weird Science
Tuesday, 17 July 2018 - 10:17AM
New Full-Color 3D X-Ray Can See Right Through You
< >
Image Credit: Mars Bioimaging
A father and son team of scientists at the Universities of Canterbury and Otago in New Zealand have made history with the first 3D color x-ray scan of a human. Professors Phil and Anthony Butler invented the MARS small-bore spectral x-ray scanner which differentiates between fat, bone, metal, muscle, and cartilage to create detailed, full-color 3-D images. The resulting images are as startling as they sound, resembling cutaway photographs revealing bone, fat, and muscle as in this image created of an ankle. The bone is shown in white, while muscle and soft tissue is revealed in red. The yellow/off-white material is, of course, fat.


Image credit: Mars Bioimaging

Besides just being wildly fascinating, the non-invasive procedure can also be used to generate images of disease markers. According to company literature, some of the applications include "detection of cancer using targeted nanoparticles, imaging of crystal arthropathies, measuring bone health and mineral density, and imaging plaques associated with heart disease," although "the first applications to be translated human imaging are likely to be the assessment of osteoarthritis and imaging around metal implants. Future developments will include cartilage health measurement, cancer research and imaging of plaque formation in the carotid arteries."


Image credit: Mars Bioimaging

"X-ray spectral information allows health professionals to measure the different components of body parts such as fat, water, calcium, and disease markers," said Professor Phil Butler, whose father, Professor Anthony Butler, allowed his wrist and ankle to be imaged for the first human trial. "Traditional black-and-white x-rays only allow measurement of the density and shape of an object."



Further trials will take place in New Zealand.
Science
Medical Tech
Science News
Weird Science
No