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DECTRIS introduces hybrid photon counting detection for use in medical imaging equipment

DECTRIS is introducing its hybrid photon counting (HPC) detection technology to enable the next generation of medical imaging equipment — and transform everything from mammography to computerized tomography (CT).

Until now, X-ray detection in medical imaging has mainly relied on the indirect methods utilized by traditional integrating detectors lacking energy discrimination.

Unlike these less sensitive devices, HPC detectors provide direct sensing of every single photon in an X-ray — made possible by innovations including optimized solid-state sensors and CMOS readout ASICs using hybrid pixel technology.

Given these properties alone, HPC should far surpass the performance of older technologies in terms of dose and resolution. Paired with advanced new imaging equipment and analysis algorithms, the additional spectral information will open up a new dimension in specificity.

"Designers and radiologists in the medical imaging world have been anticipating the arrival of detection techniques based on Hybrid Photon Counting — it shall allow best possible image quality and the highest sensitivity at the lowest dose," said Willi A. Kalender, Professor at the Institute for Medical Physics in Erlangen, Germany.

DECTRIS is the world’s acknowledged leader in HPC detection, having produced more than 6,000 HPC detector modules to date — far more than any other source — for a variety of applications in science and industry. DECTRIS’ unique, pioneering HPC technology delivers:

Very high resolution — achieving the best signal-to-noise ratio via a noise-free signal with no dark current.

Very high data rates — via dedicated ASIC and electronic design.

Exclusive spectral information — via energy analysis, for simple color imaging.

Highest (almost perfect) spatial resolution — via direct detection, without scintillators, fiber optics, etc.

As the leader in HPC technology, DECTRIS is ready to work with medical imaging OEMs to help realize such new possibilities as:
Highlighting microcalcification in breast tissue — with color images produced by new capabilities for energy analysis
Highlighting contrast agents such as iodine in mammography.

In addition, tissue differentiation is improved for better-informed diagnosis — with phase-contrast imaging used in combination with HPC.