Aussie firm develops lighter portable x-ray unit

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

March 18, 2016 -- Australian firm Micro-X has developed a portable x-ray machine that uses carbon nanotube technology to slash the system's weight, making it far more portable and perhaps safer around hospital beds.

The Adelaide-based firm said it has successfully produced a 75-kg mobile x-ray machine that weighs a fraction of the 600-kg machines typically used in hospitals. The system uses a carbon nanotube as an electron emitter, based on technology licensed to Micro-X by a U.S. firm, Micro-X said.

The technology was developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also partially at Duke University, said Micro-X Managing Director Peter Rowland, adding that his firm has exclusive rights to apply the technology in the mobile medical field.

A typical 600-kg portable x-ray machine requires both a vertical and a horizontal support and a strong cart to transport it, Rowland said. The conventional x-ray tube weighs in at about 26 kg, compared with 1 kg for the nanotube-based model.

Micro-X plans to release the system later this year.


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