Scientists from New Zealand recently performed the first-ever 3-D, color X-ray on a human being. The colors themselves aren't necessarily "true" color - they're added in afterwards to distinguish various tissue types - but they do give doctors much more information from a standard x-ray scan than before. The electromagnetic radiation has a shorter wavelength as compared to visible light, so it would pass soft tissues easily but failed to pass through harder elements like bones.
While this provides a good enough idea of bone structure and condition, there is nothing to learn about the softer part which leaves the rays unimpeded.
Phil Butler's wrist and wristwatch, as seen by the MARS scanner.
Father and son scientists Professors Phil and Anthony Butler from Canterbury and Otago Universities spent a decade building and refining their product. Their tech is based on detectors used by the Large Hadron Collider for measuring particles created by protons smashing together at almost the speed of light.More news: Nineteen killed in Chinese chemical plant blast
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MARS Bioimaging leveraged these capabilities to form the third generation of this technology and use it in its full-color, 3D scanner.
MARS' solution couples the spectroscopic information generated by the Medipix3 enabled detector with powerful algorithms to generate 3D images.
According to the CERN data, the image shows the difference between bones, muscles and cartilage very clearly, but it also shows the location and size of cancer tumors.
The new colour X-ray imaging technique is able to produce clearer and more accurate images which would help doctors in getting a more accurate diagnoses to the patients.
"In all current studies, promising early results suggest that when spectral imaging is routinely used in clinics it will enable more accurate diagnosis and personalisation of treatment", Professor Butler added.