Dexela, a London, UK company, is developing technology, called digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), that might allow physicians to view 3-D mammograms in the future. Dexela’s system utilizes moving X-ray tubes, similar to CT scanners, to image the breast from different angles and triangulate on potential tumore regions.
The Engineer reports:
DBT units move an X-ray tube in an arc around a patient’s breast and take multiple pictures from many angles. The pictures are then sent to a computer where they are assembled to produce clear, highly focused 3D images throughout the breast.
Dexela is one of four companies, also including Siemens Medical Solutions, GE Healthcare and Hologic/Lorad of the US, racing to commercialise DBT. While their systems are similar, Dexela claims its DBT technique produces a much clearer 3D picture.
The system uses an advanced digital X-ray detector and software, and distributes radiation dosage in a different way.
The CCD (charge-coupled device) and the CMOS (complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor) are effective devices for turning light into an electric charge, but CMOS sensors are much cheaper to manufacture than CCD sensors.
Dexela says it is the only company that uses a CCD-based digital detector to capture images for DBT. It plans to use a CMOS-based digital detector when its product is commercialised.