You may have had a CT or MRI scan before. The images produced, although increasingly accurate and already in 3D, have so far been limited to one organ or part of the body. Now, based on the idea of scientists Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi of the University of California at Davis, EXPLORER is a combined positron emission tomography (PET), and X-ray computed tomography (CT) device that can scan the entire human body at once.
Because the device captures imaged much more efficiently than other scanners, EXPLORER can produce an image of the body each second, which can turn into a film that can, for example, reveal the absorption of a new drug enhanced with a special marker to show its track within the body.
The developers expect the technology to lead to countless applications, from improving diagnoses to monitoring disease progression and researching new drug therapies.
EXPLORER Is The Most Advanced PET Scanner, Being Able To Scan The Entire Human Body At Once
According to MedicalXpress, the engineers of EXPLORER believe it will have a profound impact on clinical research and patient care because it produces images of superior quality to anything that has been done so far. It’s also a matter of speed as EXPLORER digitizes up to 40 times faster than current PET scanners and can produce a whole-body diagnosis in as little as 30 seconds.
For the first time, a medical imaging scanner will be able to simultaneously evaluate what is happening in all organs and tissues of the human body. For example, it could quantitatively measure blood flow or how the body absorbs sugars. Researchers are also optimistic that EXPLORER would become an essential asset in studying cancer that has already metastasized in the body, inflammation, infection, immunological or metabolic disorders, and many other conditions.
The first system is expected to be installed at the EXPLORER Imaging Center in Sacramento, and scientists hope to begin research projects and patient imaging using this advanced scanner in June 2019.