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Micro-X developing smaller, lightweight, and less costly head CT for mobile stroke care

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | March 14, 2024
CT Mobile Imaging Stroke X-Ray
Micro-X is designing a 70 kg head CT for use on mobile stroke units.
Australian X-ray manufacturer Micro-X has released a virtual walkthrough that gives a sneak peek at its mobile head CT technology under development for stroke assessments.

The Head CT Scanner, designed to be stowed in, and opened up from, the side of the ambulance, will sport 21 mini X-ray carbon nanotubes that are based on Micro-X’s patented Nano Electronic X-ray technology, and will transmit images to stroke clinicians for diagnosis. The technology will weigh less than 70 kg, as opposed to current mobile stroke unit CTs, which are over 500 kg, reducing the need for additional reinforcement on ambulances and making the technology less costly.

“In Australia, we aim to transform how stroke diagnosis and management occurs through truly mobile CT, democratizing access to treatment whether patients are in urban, rural, or remote communities,” said Micro-X chief executive officer Kingsley Hall in a statement.
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Micro-X is the first company worldwide to release an electronic X-ray tube that uses a cold electron source instead of a heated filament, making it powered by low voltage and allowing its X-ray imaging equipment to be smaller. It also has arrays of miniature X-ray sources that produce a moving X-ray beam for scanning patients with stationary nanotubes.

The technology produces a high current with a maximum emitter current of 180mA; sees no degradation in electron current performance from multiple daily exposures for at least five years; and has simple, scalable, and repeatable fabrication processes.

Micro-X is developing the scanner with $8 million in funding from the Australian Stroke Alliance, awarded as part of a $40 million grant from the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund.

“The Australian Stroke Alliance is taking the emergency department to the patient, saving vital minutes by diagnosing the stroke and then fast-tracking the patient to a comprehensive stroke center where a team is waiting to remove a clot or to stop a bleed,” said professor Geoffrey Donnan, co-chair of the Australian Stroke Alliance.

Clinical trials are scheduled to begin late this year.

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