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Partnership aims to improve sensitivity of X-ray imaging

19 Sep 2013

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The X-ray imaging detector to be developed by the institute and the company will be based on field emission detection. IME will use its 200mm MEMS process capabilities to fulfil its part in developing the device. The end product is anticipated to be a MEMS imaging detector that will generate quality images even with small doses of radiation.

Medical imaging plays an important role in healthcare and disease management. The most widely utilised medical imaging system is the radiography based X-ray imaging system. In the last two decades, developments in X-ray detector technology such as complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) imagers and thin-film-transistors (TFTs) have allowed healthcare professionals to better diagnose and assess a patient's condition, leading to improved patient care.

One key criterion is to minimise patient's exposure to radiation as this has adverse effects on the patient's well-being. However, certain irregularities such as tumour masses are difficult to detect unless subjected to high levels of radiation. Hence, there is an increasing need for detection technology to acquire sharper and higher contrast images at low dosage of radiation.

"The progress of this semiconductor technology will lead to improved performance metrics in medical imaging systems, such as better image sensing and faster digital signal processing," commented Professor Dim-Lee Kwong, Executive Director of A*STAR's IME. "This collaboration with NanoX Imaging is a strategic undertaking at an opportune timing where the medical X-ray devices market is experiencing a strong growth. Image quality will continue to be the paramount criterion, and overcoming the current limitation will benefit all stakeholders in this industry."

"We sought a good 200mm MEMS foundry over the world and finally came to IME, recognising its capabilities best fit our requirements as we planned for the transition from development to commercialisation. We appreciate the line-up of advanced facilities and professional expertise at IME," said Hitoshi Masuya, CEO of NanoX Imaging. "We are confident that the partnership with IME will be long-standing. In this first collaboration, we look forward to present to the medical industry an ideal solution of an imaging system that will offer high performance at low radiation risks."

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