Flexible x-ray detector could lead to tailor-made imaging machines

A flexible x-ray detector developed by researchers at the University of Surrey's Advanced Technology Institute in the U.K. could lead to the development of other real-time imaging machines that would decrease screening errors and harm to patients.  

The research was published online July 26 in Nature Communications.   

Led by Hashini Thirimanne, a PhD student at the University of Surrey, researchers developed the x-ray detector by embedding oxide nanoparticles in a large organic structure. The detector can achieve high sensitivity while operating at a low voltage over the entire x-ray energy spectrum, according to the researchers. The team also was able to create the device to conform to its subject, which current x-ray detectors are not able to do. 

A new start-up company was also formed to further develop the technology and bring it to various markets including health, food monitoring, border security (high-speed monitoring of people and vehicles over large geographical areas) and pharmaceuticals sectors, according to a recent University of Surrey press release.  

“Our new technology has the potential to transform many industries that rely on x-ray detectors. We believe that this innovation could help save lives, keep our borders more secure, and make sure that the food we eat is as safe as it could possibly be," Thirimanne said in a prepared statement.