Science and Technology
publicado em 07/08/2012 às 15h42:00
   Dê o seu voto:

New X-ray detector improves treatment and diagnosis of breast cancer

Device offers tremendous potential and is potentially less damaging to patients than current X-ray-based gadget

 
font size
A-
A+

A slice of light is about to come into focus for the first time, thanks to a new X-ray detector constructed at the University of South Carolina. And according to Krishna Mandal, the associate professor of electrical engineering who led the team that built it, the detector offers tremendous potential in breast cancer detection and treatment.

" There' s nothing available on the market that covers this range of X-rays," Mandal said. " Nobody has explored this region, and there will be many innovations that will result from our being able to do so, particularly when it comes to medical imaging."

X-rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which ranges from low-energy radio waves to high-energy gamma rays. X-rays are on the high-energy end of the spectrum, just below gamma rays they' re more energetic than ultraviolet light, which is more energetic than visible light.

As they just reported in Applied Physics Letters , the USC engineers have developed a device that sensitively detects what are called " soft X-rays" those on the lowest end of the X-ray energy scale.

At the other end of the X-ray spectrum are hard X-rays. The typical " X-ray" taken at a doctor' s or dentist' s office is a black-and-white photograph showing where hard X-rays were able to penetrate (the black area) or unable to penetrate (the white area) the object between the X-ray source and detector.

" If you take mammography as an example, hard X-rays pose difficulties," Mandal said. " First, they have very high energy, and so we have to minimize exposure to them." Soft X-ray devices are potentially less harmful to patients than those based on hard X-rays, he said.

" And more importantly, the soft X-rays interact with calcifications in the tissue," he added. " Hard X-rays do not they just pass through calcium deposits."

Calcification is the deposition of calcium minerals in body tissue; in the breast it can be an indicator of pathology. Not as opaque as bone to X-rays, calcium deposits represent an very promising target for detailed soft X-ray mapping, Mandal said. He envisions the new soft X-ray detectors being at the forefront of a new way of imaging breast tissue, so that physicians can follow progression of calcification over time.

" It' s common for women even under 40 years of age to have calcifications," Mandal said. " It' s critical to know whether it exists in the tissue and especially whether it is spreading."

" But to see that, we need very high resolution detection systems, which is what we' ve made. These detectors are instantaneous, real-time and will be able to operate at room temperature with high resolution."

Mandal' s team constructed the detector through epitaxial growth of silicon carbide on wafers of 4H-SiC. They were tested for response to soft X-rays at both the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

The resulting detectors exhibited high sensitivity for soft X-rays (50 to 10,000 electron volts). There are no commercially available soft X-ray detectors covering this range, Mandal said, and comparison with an off-the-shelf ultraviolet detector showed a much more robust response for soft X-rays with the new device.

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   X-rays    Breast cancer    Calcification    University of South Carolina    Krishna Mandal   
  • Share this pageShare this page
  • Share this pageCorrect
  • ShareShare
  • AlertAlert
Reduced link: 
  • You are recommending this story: New X-ray detector improves treatment and diagnosis of breast cancer
  • Fill in the following form to send your recommendation to your friend:

  • You are suggesting a correction for this story: New X-ray detector improves treatment and diagnosis of breast cancer


Receba notícias do iSaúde no seu e-mail de acordo com os assuntos de seu interesse.
Seu nome:
Seu email:
Desejo receber um alerta com estes assuntos:
X-rays    breast cancer    calcification    University of South Carolina    Krishna Mandal   
Comments:
Comment
Leave your comment
Close
(Required fields are marked with an *)

(Your email address will never be published or shared.)

Enter the letters and numbers below and click in the button "send"

  • Twitter iSaúde
advertising
Informe Saúde printed version

Recommend the portal
Close [X]
  • You are recommending this story: http://www.isaude.net
  • Fill in the following form to send your recommendation to your friend:

RSS news from the portal  iSaúde.net
Get the newsletter of the portal  iSaúde.net
Recommend the portal iSaúde.net
News from  iSaúde.net in your blog or website.
Get news on the subject of your interest.
© 2000-2011 www.isaude.net Todos os direitos reservados.