MedTech CoRE MARS scanner project awarded MBIE’s Gold Status for research excellence

The MARS spectral molecular scanner being developed by MedTech CoRE Principal Investigator Professor Anthony Butler and team was recently awarded MBIE’s Gold Status for research excellence. This scanner, which is part of the CoRE’s Platform 1 (Imaging & Scanning), provides 3D colour images of objects inside the body such as bone, soft tissue and artificial joints (see Figure 1). It is expected to revolutionise detection, diagnosis and monitoring of diseases by quantifying the elements and compounds of a sample in a single scan. The images captured by the MARS scanner will provide clinicians with information that is currently not obtainable using CT, MRI or PET scans. The production of these images using MARS is also cheaper, faster and requires a smaller dose of radiation compared to traditional molecular imaging techniques such as PET or SPECT. Development of the scanner is a joint initiative between universities of Otago and Canterbury; it is being commercialised by MARS Bioimaging Ltd and supported by GE Healthcare.

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Figure 1. This 3D image obtained from a MARS scanner is of a mouse that was injected with contrast agents. Similar imaging can be performed on humans.