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Advances in Medical Imaging Instruments



The medical imaging industry is moving into an age where cost effectiveness and reducing undesirable side effects are important considerations in decision making. As a result, there has been a dip in the extent of interdisciplinary translations across imaging modalities. The focus is now on fine tuning current technology to meet requirements.

Features and benefits

  • Identify key developments in instrumentation for the major medical imaging modalities.
  • Discover the current trends and future directions for converting basic research into clinically used advances.
  • Learn about the limitations of the various imaging modalities and ongoing developments in instrumentation that will overcome them.
  • Compare innovations in various modalities across manufacturers.
  • Identify gaps in equipment capabilities waiting to be filled.


Developments in MRI equipment are concentrated on designing stronger magnets or reducing the cost of achieving higher resolution. Others are attempts to develop advanced multichannel radio frequency (RF) coils. Innovations in X-ray imaging are mainly concentrated on the CT scan modality as it has become indispensible in most hospital settings.

Development of advanced transducers has captured more interest than research in any other component of the ultrasound machine. Replacement of traditional lead zirconate titanate (PZT) based transducers with capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (cMUTs) is among the most popular solutions proposed.

Innovations in PET and SPECT closely follow developments in particle physics. The majority of the innovations witnessed in recent years are related to the design of detectors with improved gamma sensing properties. Among the intrapatient image co-registration modalities, PET/CT and SPECT/CT are the most commonly used multi-modal imaging techniques.

Your key questions answered

  • What are the latest innovations in the instrumentation for major medical imaging modalities?
  • Where are developments in major imaging modalities heading?
  • What are the latest developments in material science that are applicable in medical imaging?
  • What will be the focus of innovations in medical imaging over the next ten years?
  • How are developments in instrumentation influencing imaging techniques?

Table of Contents

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  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • X-ray imaging
  • Ultrasound
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Multimodal imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging

  • Summary
  • Introduction
    • Magnet
    • Radio frequency coils
    • Parallel imaging

X-ray imaging

  • Summary
  • Computed tomography (CT)
    • Dual source CT (DSCT) or dual energy CT
    • 256 and 320 slice CT scanners
  • C-arm or fluoroscope
    • Flat panel detectors
    • Dose reduction


  • Summary
  • Introduction
    • Advanced transducers
    • Advances in beam formation
    • Coded pulse technology
    • Extended field of view
    • Tissue harmonic imaging
    • Ultrasound elastography

Nuclear medicine

  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • PET and SPECT
    • Advanced detectors
    • Time-of-flight PET

Multimodal imaging

  • Summary
  • Introduction
    • PET/CT and SPECT/CT
    • MR-PET
    • Photoacoustic tomography
    • Thermoacoustic tomography


  • Scope
  • Methodology
  • Abbreviations
  • Bibliography


  • Table: Relationship between coil density, field strength, and SNR
  • Table: Parallel imaging techniques offered by leading MRI equipment makers
  • Table: Improvement in performance characteristics of CT during 1972 - 2005
  • Table: Comparison of temporal resolution of CT scanners


  • Figure: Schematic diagram of an MRI scanner
  • Figure: Comparison of 3T MRI with 7T and 9.4T systems
  • Figure: Sodium-23 imaging of the human brain
  • Figure: MgB 2 superconductor based MRI scanner
  • Figure: Multi channel coil arrays
  • Figure: Parallel imaging process
  • Figure: Schematic diagram of CT scan
  • Figure: Evolution of the CT scan technology
  • Figure: Schematic representation of the Siemens' dual source/energy CT
  • Figure: Improvement in resolution with the dual source CT
  • Figure: Comparison of diagnosis of coronary artery stenoses using DSCT and invasive coronary angiography
  • Figure: Differentiation of renal stone composition using DSCT
  • Figure: Volume-rendered image of the heart captured with Philips Brilliance iCT
  • Figure: Volume-rendered image of the heart captured with Toshiba Aquilion One
  • Figure: Ultrasound technology
  • Figure: Improvement of image quality of carotid artery and thyroid gland with cMUT based scanner
  • Figure: Comparison of conventional and coded pulse imaging of hepatic lesions
  • Figure: Extended field of view of brachial artery graft in ultrasound
  • Figure: Improved signal strength in breast tumors using tissue harmonic imaging
  • Figure: Ultrasound elastography in tumor characterization
  • Figure: Schematic representation of PET and SPECT principles
  • Figure: Comparison of detector module geometries
  • Figure: Range of back projection and signal strength in TOF and non-TOF PET
  • Figure: Comparison of TOF and non-TOF PET imaging
  • Figure: PET/CT image co-registration
  • Figure: Prototype MR-PET scanner from Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Figure: Siemens prototype MR-PET
  • Figure: Image of human brain captured with the Siemens MR-PET prototype
  • Figure: Philips prototype MR-PET
  • Figure: Photoacoustic imaging and tomography
  • Figure: Thermoacoustic image of human breast
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