UK scientists develop faster imager for medical screening tests

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Washington, February 13 : British engineers have created one of the world's largest imagers, which may facilitate the production of more sensitive and faster images of the human body at a lower-cost to the healthcare profession.

Engineers at the University of Sheffield and the Science and Technology Facilities Council's (STFC) Rutherford-Appleton Laboratories revealed that they developed that innovative technology as part of the 4.5million pounds Basic Technology MI-3 Consortium.

They expressed surety that their imager would help in providing instant analysis of medical screening tests and the early detection of cancer.

Easier to use and faster than the imagers used in current body scanners, the technology comes with very large active pixel sensors with an imaging area of approximately 6cm square.

The silicon imager, about 15 times larger in area than the latest Intel processors, has been specifically developed to meet demanding clinical applications such as x-ray imaging and mammography.

Its makers say that the next step of their project is to produce wafer-scale imagers that can produce images that approach the width of the human torso. They say that such an imager will eliminate the need for expensive and inefficient lenses and so enable lower-cost, more sensitive and faster medical imaging systems.

"Very large active pixel sensors could soon be making a major impact on medical imaging by further reducing the need for the old technology of film. The UK is a World-lead in such sensors for scientific and medical applications and this is a lead we intend to maintain," said Professor Nigel Allinson from the University´s Vision and Information Engineering Group in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and who led the project.

Dr Renato Turchetta, leader of the design team, added: "Wafer-scale CMOS sensors are now a reality and the team is ready to take the digital revolution a step further in order to revolutionise scientific and medical imaging."

ANI

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