2007 R&D 100 awards
- Awardees: Jacqueline Anne Johnson (NE), Prof. Anthony R. Lubinsky (SUNY-Stony Brook) and Stefan Schweizer (University of Paderborn, Germany )
Sensors, Detectors & Diagnostics Department
Project description: Ultra-High-Resolution Mammography System (UHRMS)
Project Application: equips doctors with a low-cost, high-quality alternative to digital radiography
The Ultra-High-Resolution Mammography System (UHRMS) developed by Stefan Schweizer (University of Paderborn, Germany), Anthony R. Lubinsky (SUNY, Stony Brook) and NE"s Jacqueline A. Johnson has just been given the prestigious R&D100 award. It offers doctors a low-cost, high-quality alternative to selenium based digital radiography (DR), which is now the most popular mammographic technology at leading hospitals. UHRMS represents a form of computed radiography (CR), which means that instead of using traditional x-ray film to capture images, doctors can use a glass-ceramic imaging plate that can then be fed into a computer and digitized. Like any imaging modality, CR is constantly evolving as vendors improve its technical performance. But the fundamental underlying technology behind CR -- a storage phosphor material, typically a powder, based on a formulation of barium fluorobromide -- hasn't changed radically in 25 years. The award winning technology dispenses with the powder-based storage phosphor, and instead uses a glass-ceramic plate.
The plate is transparent or semi-transparent, thus exhibiting less light scattering during the read-out process than the powdered crystalline materials used in the past. Transparency is a very important issue as it offers improved resolution but in all systems there is a trade-off between storage efficiency and transparency. The system also offers several other notable improvements over common x-ray films and scintillating screens, including reusability, wide dynamic range and direct digitization.
While it's still in the early days of development, the inventors believe the technology may lead to CR systems that look and operate substantially the same as current CR designs, but have much higher resolution for mammography and other technically demanding applications.
The first break-through experiments, showing the high spatial resolution of those glass-ceramic image plates (IP), were performed under an R21 grant from the National Institutes of Health, Biomedical Imaging Institute. The spatial resolution was tested at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) with a line pair (Huettner) phantom consisting of a series of parallel gold bars. The figures show the setup at the APS and the digital x-ray image recorded for up to 20 line pairs per mm (25 microns per bar).
R&D 100-award winner Jacqueline Johnson prepares a small sample of a ceramic glass that formed the basis for radiographic imaging plates that she and her colleagues developed in order to allow doctors to obtain clearer, more-detailed mammograms.
Click on photo to view a larger image.
- Johnson, Jacqueline A., Schweizer, Stefan & Lubinsky, Anthony R.
"A Glass-Ceramic Plate for Mammography"
Journal of the American Ceramic Society 90 (3), 693-698
Last Modified: Wed, May 9, 2012 4:24 PM