Researchers and scientists from the University of California at Davis with their Chinese colleagues from United Imaging Healthcare (UIH) have created the EXPLORER device, which is the world’s first medical scanner capable of creating a three-dimensional picture of the entire human body. The first images created with this scanner were published Online. About the created device is reported in a press release on the website EurekAlert!
EXPLORER combines positron emission tomography (PET) and x-ray computed tomography. As a result, the device has such a high sensitivity that it is able to create an image of the whole body in just a second, and with longer use — dynamic images, where you can see how specially marked and injected drugs move throughout the body.
The concept of the device was proposed 13 years ago, but its development began only in 2011. Initially, the development of the national Institute of Oncology USA has allocated half a million dollars. In 2015, the US National institutes of health increased the development budget by another $ 15.5 million.
One of the main developers of the system, Simon cherry, published the first images obtained with the help of a new scanner. According to the scientist, the new device will make an invaluable contribution to clinical research. According to cherry, compared to conventional PET, EXPLORER creates images of higher quality and up to 40 times faster. For example, a whole-body diagnostic scan of a new installation takes only 20-30 seconds. In addition, it is noted that the radiation dose when using a new scanner can be reduced to 40 times, compared with PET.
For the first time in the history of medicine, the tomograph will be able to assess what is happening in all organs and tissues of the body at the same time. For example, the system can be used to comprehensively examine the circulatory system or to see how the body chooses glucose throughout the body. According to the developers of the new scanner, the use of this technology is almost limitless. It can be used to improve the diagnosis of diseases and for the study of new drugs. For example, the potential of using the system to study cancer and how it can spread beyond local formations (tumors) is already being considered.
A full demonstration of the installation and images obtained with EXPLORER will take place on November 24 during the meeting of the Radiological community of North America. It is planned to start using the device for the diagnosis of patients in June next year.