Curved X-ray Detectors Help Create an Imaging Revolution

by Mohammed Arafat

Thursday 9th of December 2021

Curved X-ray Detectors Help Create an Imaging Revolution


Almost everyone in the medical imaging field knows that digital flat-panel detectors (FPD) are used in direct digital radiography (DDR) for the conversion of X-rays to light (indirect conversion) or charge (direct conversion). This is read out using a thin film transistor (TFT) array, according to RadioPaedia. 


Nowadays, FPDs are the most used in clinical X-ray imaging systems. They have enabled radiographers to examine X-rays more quickly. However, they are not suited to the complex shape and geometry of the human body. They are ill-matched to our bodies.


Digital curved-panel detectors? What the heck is that? Well, an international team of scientists has identified key design parameters for making curved X-ray detectors that could lead to better quality, and guess what?  SAFTER X-RAYS!

Surrey University research team, said that depending on flat panels means there is unavoidable distortion around the edges of images. They prevent an accurate registration of the X-ray dose delivered. The team stated that there have been a lot of efforts to create flexible detecto, but unfortunately, they have been unsuccessful due to the, “brittle characteristics of the rigid inorganic semiconductors used to make them.” 


The study, published in Advanced Science, identifies design rules for a special class of ‘inorganic in organic’ semiconductors. By tuning the molecular weight of the bismuth oxide nanoparticle sensitised organic semiconductors to lengthen the polymer chains, researchers and scientists could reach more robust, curved digital detectors with high sensitivity or digital film.


Prabodhi Nanayakkara, lead author of the study and PhD student at Surrey University, said that the curved detector concept has shown exceptional mechanical robustness and enables bending radii as small as 1.3mm.”


“The use of organic or ‘inorganic in organic’ semiconductors is also far more cost effective than conventional inorganic semiconductors made from silicon or germanium, which require expensive crystal growth methods. Our approach potentially offers a significant commercial advantage.”


Professor Ravi Silva, director of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute, said that the technology has huge potential in medical applications and other X-ray uses.


“We’re working with a spinout company, SilverRay, and hope to turn this technology into the X-ray detector of choice for high sensitivity, high resolution, flexible large area detectors. This technology will help create a ‘revolutionary’ high sensitivity X-ray detector that is scalable due to the design and materials adopted.”


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