Micro-X secures $8 million grant to develop CT stroke detection

Innovative X-ray technology company Micro-X will develop a lightweight brain CT scanner based on its carbon fibre nanotube X-ray emitter for the rapid detection and diagnosis of stroke.

The development will be funded by a $40 million grant – one of the largest health grants ever awarded in Australia – made to the Australian Stroke Alliance by by the federal government’s Medical Research Future Fund frontier health program.

Micro-X’s share of the funding will be $8 million over three years, and will miniaturise diagnostic brain CT scanning so scanners can be small and affordable enough to have them fitted to road and air ambulances.

Adelaide-based Micro-X has already successfully completed imaging trials on cadavers at the Melbourne Brain Centre and begun development of core X-ray beam tomographic image reconstruction algorithms.

The company told investors: “This early work yielded early and promising imaging performance that, with further clinical and technical input, has the potential to approach the current diagnostic standard of care, a conventional X-ray 8-slice helical CT.”

Bringing pre-hospital stroke care closer to the patient has the potential to improve patient outcomes, and opens up a market potential the company estimates at $25 billion.

The brain centre’s Professor Geoffrey Donnan said the technology had the potential to transform stroke care remote from major hospitals.

Donnan said: “Lightweight, portable and affordable CT imaging is the next frontier of stroke care.”

The next stage of the project will involve:

  • Engineering development and prototype construction of a scanner and telehealth interfaces
  • Continuing algorithm development and refinement of image processing
  • Vehicle integration and data communications design
  • And the validation of the performance of the ring scanner against current standards.

Micro-X CEO Peter Rowland said: “The compact, rugged low-cost CT scanner which Micro-X will develop under this program will be a global first never before imagined.”

Picture: Micro-X

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