New X-ray Technique Clearer Than MRI

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The latest technological developments within the world of medical science could see a seismic shift in how we assess and diagnose tumours.

Traditionally, x-rays have been used to diagnose broken bones, whilst MRI scans have been used for soft tissue problems, ranging from brain injuries to back injuries. An x-ray might identify an issue, with an MRI then used to get more detailed analysis as a follow-up. However, that might all be about to change after a recent development.

Staff at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, have developed a method which uses x-ray to examine the soft tissue in a higher resolution, meaning it could be used for the diagnosis of tumours and the like. They have developed a system that uses the principles of elastography and x-ray together, something that up until now has not been done. Elastography uses low-frequency vibrations, usually within an MRI or ultrasound scan, to measure the elasticity of organs. As an example, Science Blog reveals how cancerous tumours will often be harder than the surrounding tissue, which makes them stand out.

Elastography and x-ray have been spoken about before, but researchers have now taken it from the theory and put it into practice. They took an image of a polyacrylamide gel, mixing some of those samples with a harder substance, zirconium dioxide.

They then took x-rays of the samples and were able to spot the zirconium dioxide. The increasingly complex technology used in medical diagnostics ensures that doctors can act faster and with more precision when treating a patient. The old x-ray method could spot issues on a scale of millimetres, whilst the new technology is believed to work on a scale of microns. Increased accuracy is vital in developing new technology as the human body is made up of a complex network of cells that are much smaller than a millimetre. In fact, Gala Bingo explains that 10,000 human cells could fit on one single pinhead demonstrating the intricate nature of the human body and the increased need for accuracy in the relevant technology. With more precise diagnostics and advanced resolution on scanning equipment, problems can be spotted much more effectively, even with the huge number of cells within the body.

That accuracy is being aided by ever-developing technology and in the same way as the scope of x-ray machines is being increased, circuit boards within medical machines are also becoming more complex and compact. Our medical and smart healthcare solutions have been able to help drive this development with a wide product portfolio in medical services. We have delivered a wide range of industrial motherboards and embedded systems for intelligent healthcare applications, impacting medical panel PCs and monitors.

Such circuitry is also required across a broad range of medical products, including CT systems, ultrasound equipment, self-check-in terminals, medical imaging such as MRI scanning, x-ray equipment and even bedside entertainment systems.

The requirement for this technology is only going to increase with every breakthrough like that made by Tohoku scientists, meaning that technology can finally begin to match the advanced make up of the human body, leading to a more driven and targeted method of diagnosis and treatment for serious illnesses in the future.

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