X-Ray Imaging

Carestream offers major upgrade with new DRXEvolution Plus

Carestream Health has released their newest DRX digital imaging system – the Carestream DRX-Evolution Plus. The system offers major software and hardware enhancements to help expedite complex medical imaging exams and support future advanced imaging applications.

Helen Titus, Carestream’s Worldwide Marketing Director for X-ray Solutions and Ultrasound, said: “The DRX-Evolution has been embraced by radiology professionals around the world who appreciate its ability to combine ease of use with features that boost productivity and help technologists capture complex exams that previously required greater effort. The DRX-Evolution Plus includes new capabilities to further enhance workflow and offer improved visualization of anatomy.”

The DRX-Evolution Plus offers:

• A sleek new design with LED lighting for enhanced functionality and aesthetics

• Greater flexibility in high-ceiling rooms via an extended tube column

• A new high-performance generator

• An optional table to accommodate patients up to 320 kg; and

• Forward-looking design specifications to embrace new advanced imaging applications as they become available.

Additional capabilities of the DRX-Evolution Plus include:

• An innovative wall stand Bucky-angulation feature expedites cross table and other complex X-ray exams

• Tube touch screen allows a technologist to change techniques and view images from the tube

• Paediatric capabilities including automatic technique and image processing for seven paediatric body size categories

• Bone suppression software for optimized viewing of soft tissue

• Fast, secure log-in process using RFID badges

• A transbay option enables fast tube movement across multiple trauma bays, which helps expedite treatment while minimizing movement of critically ill or injured patients

• Automatic acquisition and stitching for long-length and supine imaging exams; and

• IHE Dose Reporting to facilitate data sharing with a facility’s dose management system.

Modular components and configurations The DRX-Evolution Plus offers modular components and configurations. For maximum productivity, the system can be configured with a fixed detector in the wall stand, and one or two additional wireless detectors that can be used for table Bucky and tabletop exams. Like other members of the company’s portfolio of DRX systems, the DRXEvolution Plus enables each DRX detector to work with all other DRX systems within a provider’s environment.

Siemens’ Mobilett Mira Max ideal for X-ray

Siemens introduced a new digital mobile Xray system – the Mobilett Mira Max – at the RSNA in Chicago in November last year. There is a growing demand for mobile xray systems because they have a wide range of application – from broken legs to lung examinations, from newborns to trauma patients.

With these systems there is no need to transport the patient and examinations can be performed at the bedside in quite small spaces. Siemens say the proven mobile X-ray system Mobilett Mira is available as a new version with MAX (Multiple Advances in X-ray) functionality. MAX defines functions that support users in their everyday work (MAX assistance) and have a positive effect on image quality (MAX detection).

Because clinical staff frequently have to move mobile X-ray systems around and adjust their position, ease and speed of operation are essential. This is where the advantages of MAX assistance are clear: Since the system is equipped with a special tube arm, it offers nearly unrestricted visibility while being moved. The integrated detector holder has been designed to enable the operator to manoeuvre the system with convenient foot space. The system comes with a PIN code option to lock and unlock it which makes the need for a physical key redundant.

An additional lock function protects patient data against unauthorized access while also preventing the system from being moved unintentionally and X-ray being released.

The buttons on the tube arm allow clinical staff to precisely position the system at the patient’s bed. The tube arm can also be rotated 180 degrees, enabling it to be conveniently positioned at the patient’s bedside. At about 375 kg, Mobilett Mira Max is one of the lightest devices in the digital mobile X-ray segment.

To ensure that the system can be used at any time, it runs on batteries but can be switched to an external supply. This means that X-ray images can be generated immediately, even if the system batteries are completely empty.

Image quality

For even higher image quality than previously available, Siemens provides two new detectors for Mobilett Mira Max with the MAX detection function: the extra-compact MAX mini detector measuring 24 cm x 30 cm, which, for example, is ideally suited for examinations in an incubator or of smaller joints. The MAX wi-D detector (35 cm x 43 cm) weighs only three kilograms and is automatically recharged on the system during transportation. It is often used to take lung and chest images in intensive care wards. Combining the latest generation of detectors with 35 kilowatt (kW) of generator power and the proven DiamondView Plus image processing software enables high-resolution images to be generated that are comparable in quality to those of stationary X-ray systems.

New structural features of human hair discovered

By combining a submicron X-ray beam with cross-section geometry, a team of researchers in Brazil and New York has detected new structural features of human hair – a discovery that is likely to change the way scientists and researchers, as well as the cosmetics industry, view and explore it in the future.

Human hair consists primarily of keratin molecules arranged in a hierarchical sort of structure, in which the fundamental building block is known as an “intermediate filament”. While studying materials used for hair treatments, Vesna Stanic, a scientist working at the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Source, wondered what effect these treatments were having on the diffraction pattern of the hair. X-ray diffraction patterns of a given material can reveal the local arrangement of molecular and atomic structure.

Although diffraction patterns have been examined and reported in several publications in the past, they involved bundles of hair fibres or microdiffraction on single hair fibres – and, most significantly, the X-ray beam was always oriented perpendicular to the hair fibre axis.

So Stanic decided to take a closer look at the diffraction pattern of the hair by measuring it with an X-ray beam aimed parallel – rather than perpendicular – to the hair axis. “I wanted to use a submicron X-ray beam, so I asked colleague Kenneth Evans-Lutterodt to perform an experiment on the microdiffraction beamline at Brookhaven National Laboratory,” she added.

Using a submicron X-ray beam and transmission electron microscopy, they were able to spatially resolve the local structure of the three main regions of human hair: medulla, cortex and cuticle.

“We performed a full diffraction map from a 30-micron-thick cross section of hair, with an incident beam parallel to the hair axis and then compared it to the diffraction map with the beam perpendicular to the hair axis,” noted Stanic.

What they found

The researchers found an additional, previously unobserved structural region in the cortex near the cuticle boundary. “We also discovered that within the cuticle a key diffraction feature of the alpha keratin is absent – indicating the presence of beta keratin instead of the alpha keratin phase,” said Stanic. Until now, it was believed that keratin in the whole hair had only an alpha conformation, she explained.

The work “provides irrefutable experimental evidence of the hair phase variation across the three main regions of hair and is an important step toward gaining a better understanding of hierarchical ordering of the intermediate filaments of keratin,” she said. “It also highlights the importance of using a submicron X-ray beam to unravel the structures of poorly ordered, multiphase systems such as hair.”

The team believes the cosmetics industry will benefit from their findings.

 Date of upload: 12th Sep 2015


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