Review current Digital Tomosynthesis (DT) technologies Describe emerging DT technologies using compact cold cathode emitters Understand the evolving clinical applications of current and future DT imaging
Digital Tomosynthesis (DT) has been adopted as a valuable clinical tool,
ranging from mammography to musculoskeletal and thoracic imaging (Fig 2). Conventional DT systems work by physically moving an X-ray tube through a range of positions in order to capture multiple ultra-low dose projection images from a variety of different angles and then reconstruct slices through a 3D volume [1,2]. Earlyconcepts in the 1970s were largely abandoned in favour of CT,
but the increasing availability of...
Findings and procedure details
The Technology "Cold cathode" emitters rely on a process called field emission unlike conventional cathodes that use heat to excite electrons so that they can be fired into the vacuum.
Field emission relies on sharp tips on the cathode where the field gradients at the tip are strong enough to pull electrons into the vacuum without the addition of heat. Each emitter can either be a cluster of many tiny carbon nanotubes or a larger single tip made of a semiconductor or metal (Fig 6). Compact...
Arrays of "cold cathode" field emitters are an evolvingtechnology with the potential to widen access to digital tomosynthesis.Compact and lightweight designs,
particularly with the low input power requirements if a flat panel source is used,
could widen the access of tomosynthesis technology.
This would enable global patient access to modern,
effective diagnosticimaging techniques. Thediverse clinical settings that could benefit include: Point-of-Care imaging (Fig 11) DT imaging outside of...
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