High-Performance Radiographic Imaging Device for Superior Imaging and Lower Exposure

Technology #12848

Invention

The University of Florida is seeking companies interested in commercializing a breakthrough, automated approach to two-dimensional and three-dimensional imaging that significantly reduces cost and improves image quality. This innovation entails a method to inexpensively mass produce X-ray and gamma ray imagers for widespread use. As the American population continues to age, demand for imaging technology is increasing and is expected to rise by 15 percent by 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite growing demand, current imagers either utilize unoptimized combinations of technology or are expensive and time intensive to manufacture. Researchers at the University of Florida have addressed all of these issues by designing a cost-effective, automated approach to imaging technology using advanced detector configurations for superior imaging performance compared to current technologies.

Applications

Two-dimensional and three-dimensional imaging devices for medical and industrial applications

Advantages

  • Useful for both medical and industrial applications, increasing potential for profit with diverse markets. This can be used in two-dimensional (i.e. planar/radiographic) and three-dimensional (i.e. computed tomography) imaging
  • Easily manufactured through automation, greatly reducing fabrication costs and ensuring accurate fabrication
  • Eliminates manual assembly, reducing opportunities for human error
  • Allows for lower X-ray imaging doses for patients in medical applications, where cumulative dose presents significant risk for secondary carcinogenesis
  • Lower dose X-ray imaging lowers radiation exposure to personnel for on-site imaging for homeland security applications

Technology

High-performance radiographic imaging requires high-light output clear scintillators that are inserted onto a tungsten housing matrix, then optimally matched to a photodiode. Currently, such imagers are manufactured manually. UF’s innovative design utilizes custom tungsten housing matrices loaded with scintillators optimized for the imaging application of interest to achieve superior imaging quality. It uses an automated method of production of tungsten alloy housing matrices through stack lamination of microlayers that are fabricated by existing tomolithographic molding technology based on lithography. Scintillator elements are then inserted into the tungsten alloy housing via automated electrostatic vacuum gradient-based scintillator loading, or via a robotic arm. This technique provides a cost effective, mass-producible and accurate solution to obtain high-performance gamma ray and X-ray imagers for medical and industrial applications.