Revolutionizing Medical Imaging (ReImagine) through Ubiquitous, Low-Dose, Automated Computed Tomography Diagnostic Systems

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Abstract

Imagine a world in which every individual can be routinely and extensively health monitored, in a time-efficient and safe manner, without having to visit an oversubscribed, centralised medical centre with limited access and appointment flexibility. Imagine a new clinical paradigm where early diagnosis becomes the standard, even in remote areas, within low-income demographics and for international travel, due to ubiquitous, modular, high-resolution X-ray imaging systems with automated diagnosis and live reporting; where frequent imaging contributes to a large diagnostic portfolio of individuals over time (whilst maintaining privacy) and advanced artificial-intelligence (AI)-based algorithms use these anonymous data sets acquired across the population to identify extremely early stages of disease - transforming preventative medicine as we know it. This is the 2050 that ReImagine will enable.

We will revolutionise the use of X-rays for medical imaging through low-dose, high-resolution and inexpensive computed tomography (CT) scanners, where highly innovative hardware and software components will be developed side-by-side to enable automated all-in-one pre-symptomatic diagnosis. Our vision will be enabled by developing highly sensitive X-ray detectors using scalable halide perovskite (PVK) semiconductors - materials currently making impact as disruptive photovoltaic (PV) technologies - for phase contrast X-ray imaging, in conjunction with AI-driven algorithms for image reconstruction, lesion detection and segmentation. This will realise quicker and more efficient healthcare delivery and prevent disease spread through extremely early detection of disease (e.g., those otherwise responsible for future pandemics) and for routine follow-up of oncology patients (e.g. early detection of cancer recurrence).

To realise this extremely challenging vision - combining breakthroughs in hardware, software and end-user application - we have uniquely assembled a world-leading, cross-cutting team from the Universities of Cambridge, Loughborough and Leicester, together with academic partners at the University of Leiden and industry partners in GE Healthcare, Scintacor, Cheyney and Immaterials Labs, bringing combined expertise spanning materials synthesis and scaling, characterisation and modelling, device assembly, detector physics, mathematics, CT systems development, and clinical radiology. The hardware will be interweaved with the software and algorithm development, with both guided by clinical insight, industry and case studies to ensure fit for end users.

Publications

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Landman M S (2022) On Krylov Methods for Large Scale CBCT Reconstruction in Cornell University arXiv

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Moseley ODI (2021) Halide perovskites scintillators: unique promise and current limitations. in Journal of materials chemistry. C

 
Description EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account Impact Grants 2022
Amount £61,718 (GBP)
Funding ID RG90413 
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2022 
End 06/2022
 
Description Ernest Oppenheimer Early Career Fellowship
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2021 
End 10/2022
 
Description STFC-UKRI Project Partner 
Organisation Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution During this collaboration, we have successfully fabricated thick perovskite films devices, and developed a single-pixel detector. We have initially assessed their performances and single crystal-based devices have proven a better performance with very low dark currents of <0.001nA/cm2 and a reasonably good detection limit of 167 nGy(air)/s at 1000mV. Now, we aim for developing chips based on these devices and test their performance in collaboration with STFC.
Collaborator Contribution STFC is contributing to the optimization of devices and their architecture. This is an iterative process in which we are also testing the performance of materials in its facilities. The complete iterative process implies synthesizing samples, producing devices, testing their performances both in our in-house equipments and in the STFC facilities. In addition, STFC is contributing to its know-how to produce photon counting ASICs chips, providing us with some, helping in the integration of the device and evaluating its performance.
Impact We have successfully fabricated thick perovskite films based devices and measure their performance. We have also developed a backup approach for high quality perovskites single crystals, and integrate them into devices with better performances. We are currently in the process of optimising chips based on these approaches and we aim for producing a multi-pixel single photon counting detector.
Start Year 2022
 
Description ReImagine Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact All different stakeholders from this project (both from academia and industry) participated on this workshop to disseminate objectives of our project, current status of its development and results, and making plans for the future of this project and to extend our collaboration. Thanks to this workshop, we attract the interest of the Detector Development Group (from Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Science and Technology Facilities Council - STCF -), which eventually has joined as Project Partner and participates actively in research activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022