Monday, July 30, 2018

Doctors to see blood, bones and tissue with first 3D coloured x-ray

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It used to be a black and white x-ray that is used to spot out fractures or breaks on the bones. The black and white x-ray was not detailed enough. But after more than a century, x-ray imaging has come with a great upgrade with the world's first 3D coloured x-ray.

Enter the 3D, full-coloured imaging x-ray that will reveal more than the bones in the body. This 3D coloured x-ray will reveal your tissues and blood in high vivid colours. These images will help to improve on what a doctor can diagnose without necessarily cutting the patient open.

The traditional black and white x-ray handles the imaging of the insides of a patient which involves blasting them with x-rays. This electromagnetic radiation method has a shorter wavelength more than visible light, as such, it is able to easily pass through soft tissue, but it encounters difficulties picking the harder part of the body such as the bones. After all these, a sensor is then used to produce an image based on the intensity of the x-rays that made it through, and the inside body is then revealed.

Diagnosing will be a lot easier now with the invention of 3D coloured x-ray. A company from New Zealand known as Mars Bioimaging has developed a better type of medical imaging scanner that works in a similar way like the black and white x-ray, but it adopts the technology developed for the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to produce far more detailed results. The Medipix3 chip works like the sensor too just like in a digital camera, but it easily detects and does the counting of the particles by hitting on each pixel when a shutter opens. This is far more advanced than what is currently being used in different health facilities. The x-ray will help to sort some ambiguities that are associated with black and white x-ray machines.

When the x-ray developed by father and son scientists Phil and Anthony Butler from the Universities of Canterbury and Otago in New Zealand is used, the Medipix3 chip, which is enhanced with custom data-processing algorithms, is able to detect the change in wavelengths as x-rays pass through different materials in the body. This makes it possible for the scanner to differentiate between bone, muscle, fat, liquids, and all the other material in the human body. There is an additional software that uses that data to produce stunning full-colour images that allow a 3D view of the inside of the body.
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