Imager brings low cost sensitivity

28 February 2008

Large imagers for scanners can allow more sensitive and faster images to be produced at a low cost.

Engineers at the University of Sheffield and STFC Rutherford-Appleton Laboratories have developed the imager for clinical scanners such as X-ray and mammography. It has large active pixel sensors with an imaging area of approximately 6cm square. According to Professor Nigel Allinson, from the University’s vision and information engineering group “Very large active pixel sensors reduce the need for the old technology of film. The UK is a world-leader in such sensors for scientific and medical applications and this is a lead we intend to maintain”.

The next step is to take the digital revolution a step further with the development of wafer-scale imagers, which can produce images close to the width of a human torso. This will save the cost of expensive and inefficient lenses to reduce the cost, increase sensitivity and speed of medical images.

The imager has been developed as part of the Basic Technology MI-3 consortium for instant analysis of medical screening tests and the early detection of cancer.

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