27 Feb '14, 3pm

Less Is More With Next-Generation Medical X-rays

Photo: Microsystems Technology Laboratories/MIT Extremely Tiny X-ray: An electron-emitting chip is at the heart of a new type of X-ray source. It can replace large particle accelerators in phase-contrast imaging. The X-ray that imaged your father’s broken leg when he was a kid isn’t fundamentally different from the one at your doctor’s office today—other than that it’s now digital rather than film-based. But the technology is on the verge of a big leap forward that will let doctors see more with less light. To take an X-ray today of some part of the body other than the bones, a patient needs to ingest a contrast agent like iodine or barium that binds to the tumor or other structure the doctor wants to examine. But contrast agents can be hard on the kidneys, enough to harm or even kill some already weakened patients. And some kinds of X-ray imaging today, like computed tomo...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/imaging/less-is-more-...

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