Mini-CT scanner developed as a teaching tool

Mar 15, 2012
This is the DeskCAT Multi-slice CT scanner. Credit: Modus Medical Devices

Biophysics professors at Western University, in London, Canada, have developed a CT (Computed Tomography) scanner small enough to sit on a desk. Jerry Battista, Chair of the Department of Medical Biophysics at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Kevin Jordan of the London Regional Cancer Program at London Health Sciences Centre invented the DeskCAT Multi-slice CT Scanner as a novel and interactive way to teach CT imaging techniques to a wide range of students. DeskCAT is now being manufactured, and distributed to other universities by Modus Medical Devices in London, Ontario.

Clinical CT or CAT (Computed Axial tomography) scanners are large enough to handle a patient and occupy a large room. The donut-shaped rotates a narrow fan beam of x-rays around the region of the body to be visualized. The x-rays are then detected and analyzed by a computer to create detailed images of the body part in thin slices, which can be stacked together to form a three-dimensional (3D) image.

The DeskCAT scanner was invented out of educational necessity. "Teaching the basics of a CT scanner is very complicated. Usually you end up filling a board with equations, and students get lost," explains Battista. "It's hard to get access to a clinical scanner for a more practical explanation because of the heavy clinical workload. So basically, we miniaturized a to bring it into the classroom."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Biophysics professors at Western University have developed a CT scanner small enough to sit on a desk. Jerry Battista, Chair of the Department of Medical Biophysics at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry explains how the DeskCAT Multi-slice CT Scanner is a novel and interactive way to teach CT imaging techniques to a wide range of students. Credit: Western University

Rather than using x-rays, the DeskCAT educational scanner uses visible light rays to form multiple views of a transparent specimen. The mathematical method of reconstructing the 3D picture of the specimen's interior from many views through the object, is identical to that used in the full-scale clinical x-ray system.

"The advantage of using light instead of x-rays for teaching is that the scanner can be brought into the classroom or laboratory without the hazards of x-ray exposure," adds Battista. "Another advantage is that students can 'see the light' passing through the specimen whereas x-rays are invisible to the human eye. This provides unique insight!"

Explore further: Tomorrow's degradable electronics

More information: For more on DeskCAT, go to www.deskcat.com

Provided by University of Western Ontario

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Giant 256-slice CT scanner is tested

Mar 27, 2007

U.S. scientists at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have started a three-month safety and clinical test of a 256-slice computed tomography scanner.

Seeing the effects of rock heterogeneity on CO2 movement

Jul 12, 2011

All three DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory X-ray CT scanners were recently used to characterize flow patterns during CO2 flooding of a sandstone sample from China. This work was part of a U.S.- ...

New scanner takes images inside and out

May 24, 2011

From fossilized brachiopods, fish lungs and iPhones to mouse hearts and habanero chilies, Cornell's micro-CT (computer tomography) scanner provides spectacular and colorful 3-D datasets from the inside out.

CT scan for 50 million year old snake

Sep 13, 2010

Even some of the most advanced technology in medicine couldn't get Clarisse to give up all of her secrets. After all, she's kept them secret for more than 50 million years.

Recommended for you

Tomorrow's degradable electronics

6 hours ago

When the FM frequencies are removed in Norway in 2017, all old-fashioned radios will become obsolete, leaving the biggest collection of redundant electronics ever seen – a mountain of waste weighing something ...

Building the world's fastest downhill racer

Nov 19, 2014

I'd like to say that it's not every day you get asked to try to break a world record with a speed-obsessed truck mechanic from Grimsby, but for us at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research it's starting ...

Recycling Styrofoam into rigid plastic

Nov 18, 2014

Mexican entrepreneurs designed the first machine in the nation capable of recycling Styrofoam (expanded polystyrene) and transforming it into a raw material used in the manufacture of transparent hard plastic.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.