News | Computed Tomography (CT) | October 05, 2015

New Portable CT Technology Wins First Prize in Design Innovation Competition

Smaller tube with more X-ray spots allows portable, inexpensive CT imaging for underserved populations

Create the Future Design Contest, Smart X-ray Source, first prize

Diagram of the Smart X-ray Source in operation. Image courtesy of Create the Future Design Contest.

October 5, 2015 — A new X-ray source technology was awarded first prize in the medical category of the 2015 “Create the Future” Design Contest, held in New York City at the end of September.

The Smart X-ray Source, created by Mark Eaton of Austin, Texas, combines flat panel X-ray detector technology with classic X-ray physics to provide portable, inexpensive computed tomography (CT) systems using open software sources to underserved populations around the world.

Unlike traditional point source X-ray tubes, which generate X-rays at a single spot on an anode, the Smart X-ray Source features several X-ray spots which can be electronically addressed in whatever sequence, intensity and pattern is programmed into the control computer. This eliminates the need for a large steel gantry to support a large source assembly, which is the origin of the majority of the size and cost of CT systems.

The Create the Future technology design innovation competition was launched in 2002 by NASA Tech Briefs magazine to help stimulate and reward engineering innovation. Finalists in the competition were selected by senior editors at Tech Briefs Media Group and judged by an independent panel of design engineers. Visitors to the contest’s website could vote on entries, with the 10 most popular designs awarded an Ollie robotic gaming device provided by Sphero.

For more information: www.createthefuturecontest.com

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