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The detecting module GaAs based on SI with the Timepix reading chip

New sensor would also help patients with corona

6. 5. 2020 | 1493 visits

The electrical engineers from the Slovak Academy of Sciences have started to work on a project of developing the GaAs detector, which opens up new possibilities for special scanners.  These would be able to detect various energy levels in one scanning, and thus reduce the dose of an X-radiation on the scanning object and speed up the process of diagnostics in the field of medicine. The system uses the so-called mode of calculating the events by the help of the Medipix reading chip. 

“When we look at the current situation, the patients with corona are often sent to the lungs X-ray, as well as other screening examinations (MRI, CT). These examinations, however, burden the patient in terms of the high doses of radiation. The system proposed by us is, thanks to the GaAs sensor used, much more sensitive, and works in such way that it obtains the useful information from every single photon of the X-ray emitter, and thus reduces the doses on the patient 10 and more times. In the process, the richer information on the attacked tissue is obtained. Basically, we get an image at once by one scanning, which combines the information from MRI, CT and RTG,” said Vladimír Cambel, director of the Institute of Electrical Engineering, SAS.

Additionally, according to electrical engineers, the system can also be prepared in a mobile form. 

“Imagine that you come to a patient´s room with it or home, and by one scanning with a very low dose, you do an RTG, CT and MRI.  And that is our long-term goal in the field of medicine,” added the director.

The semi-conductive material of the sensor part must meet several requirements - it must be of adequate quality, homogeneous, and with very high detecting effectiveness for the X-radiation. Today, the silicon semi-conductor is used most frequently, but it has the low detecting effectiveness for the X-ray radiation, and therefore, its use for X-ray imaging is limited. On the other hand, the new GaAs is perspective, since it has 20 times higher detecting effectiveness. 

“With this project, we want to start long-term strategic research cooperation of the new generation of detecting and imaging technologies, and thus contribute to increasing the safety of the population and making the diagnostic processes in the medicine more effective.  Unfortunately, we have submitted this project within the scheme of a Long-Term Strategic Research in 2018, and until today, its financing has not begun, although we have had foreign assessments for a year and a half. We would welcome if these Long-Term Strategic Research appeals from the area of Industry for the 21st century have already started to move, because they are already running in other areas,” said the director of the Institute of Electrical Engineering, SAS.

In case of financing, the electrical engineers will work on the project together with the Institute of Measurement Science SAS, Institute of Physics SAS, Centre for advanced material application SAS, St. Elizabeth University of Health and Social Work,  EVPÚ a.s. (Electrotechnical research and projecting company) and the firm GX Solutions.

Monika Hucáková

Photo: IEE SAS

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