News | Ultrasound Imaging | December 13, 2016

Japanese Scientists Develop Wearable Terahertz Scanning Device

Portable device uses carbon nanotubes to better image three-dimensional objects

terahertz imaging, wearable scanning device, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Nature Photonics

Terahertz imaging of a human hand using arrays of carbon nanotubes: (left) human hand inserted into the imaging device, and (right) resulting scan of the human hand.

December 13, 2016 — Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a portable and wearable terahertz scanning device for non-invasive inspection of three-dimensional objects. The device is made using arrays of carbon nanotubes and does not require bulky peripheral optical components.

The device is expected to have wide-ranging applications including the noninvasive inspections of medical and drug delivery equipment such as syringes, as well as in medicine for imaging cancer cells, blood clots, sweat glands and teeth. The findings are published in the November 2016 issue of Nature Photonics.

Imaging devices based on terahertz waves show promise for noninvasive inspection of solid objects and soft tissue of the human body. However, terahertz waves have difficulty in imaging and reproducing the curved contours of three-dimensional objects. Furthermore, terahertz devices currently used for whole-body scans at airports must rotate 360 degrees around the human body, and thus they are large, bulky and not portable. In addition, the materials used to fabricate conventional terahertz systems are not flexible, and the terahertz detectors must be cooled in order to achieve high detection sensitivity.

Therefore, researchers are constantly searching for ways of producing terahertz imaging systems that are portable, flexible and operate efficiently at room temperature. To address these challenges, Yukio Kawano and colleagues at the Laboratory for Future Interdisciplinary Research of Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, have demonstrated a terahertz imaging device fabricated with arrays of carbon nanotubes (CNT). Notably, CNTs have previously been used for the fabrication of photodetectors that operate in the visible, infrared and terahertz regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The Tokyo Tech team fabricated a flexible, wide-band terahertz scanner by integrating 23 CNT detector elements into a single array. The mechanical strength of the CNT film used in the detector enabled it to be readily bent over a wide range of angles, unlike conventional semiconductor materials that are fragile and break under stress. Importantly, the CNT films also absorb electromagnetic radiation over a broad terahertz range, which eliminates the need for planar antennas to scan objects. The terahertz scanner developed by Kawano and his team was successfully used for active imaging of flat and curved samples; multiview scanning of cylindrical samples; and passive wearable imaging of a human hand.

In the future, the research team expects that the applications of their terahertz scanner will enhance the capability of noninvasive inspections in pharmaceutics, food quality control and medical monitoring. These applications are possible because the terahertz scanner is wearable, portable, and can scan 3-D objects without requiring complex optics or equipment.

For more information: www.nature.com/nphoton

Related Content

Radiologists Seek Greater Involvement in Patient Care
News | Patient Engagement | July 20, 2017
Despite time and workload constraints, radiologists are looking for ways to become more directly involved in the care...
3-D Vascular Ultrasound Quantifies Plaque Burden to Estimate Cardiovascular Risk
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | July 20, 2017
In a large, first-of-its-kind population, researchers found an experimental technique known as three-dimensional...
ACR Updates Radiation Oncology and Medical Physics Guidance With ASTRO and AAPM
News | Radiation Dose Management | July 19, 2017
July 19, 2017 — The American College of Radiology (ACR) recently collaborated with professional medical societies to
Floyd Medical Center Acquires Quartet of Toshiba Cardiac Ultrasound Systems
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | July 19, 2017
Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Ga., recently installed three new Aplio 500 Platinum CV ultrasound systems from Toshiba...
SIIM Recognizes Innovators in Medical Imaging Informatics at 2017 Annual Meeting

Accepting the award on behalf of Arterys is Julia Geer shown with SIIM Chair Dr. Paul Nagy (left), and Innovation Challenge Co-Chair Dr. Ram Chadalavada (right)

News | Analytics Software | July 19, 2017
During the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) 2017 general closing session held in Pittsburgh, Fabien...
Synergy Radiology Associates Employs UroNav Fusion Biopsy System for Better Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
News | Biopsy Systems | July 17, 2017
Radiologists from Synergy Radiology Associates (SRA) in Houston are using the power of 3-D medical imaging and...
Toshiba Medical and AHRA Open Applications for 10th Annual Putting Patients First Program
News | Business | July 11, 2017
AHRA (the Association for Medical Imaging Management) and Toshiba Medical announced the tenth year of their Putting...
Neiman Institute Releases Updated Radiologist Patient-Facing Dataset
News | Business | July 11, 2017
The Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute has updated the Radiologist Patient-Facing Dataset (RPFD) with 2015...
Claims System Could Lead to Private Practice Radiology Subspecialty Quality Metrics
News | Business | July 06, 2017
A new Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study shows that a claims-based system used to subspecialty classify...
American Society of Neuroradiology Launches Anne G. Osborn International Outreach Professor Program
News | Neuro Imaging | July 05, 2017
The American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) recently announced the creation of the Anne G. Osborn ASNR International...
Overlay Init