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High Sensitivity Mammography with a new generation of silicon pixel sensors

Objective

Mammography is an X-ray imaging technique widely used to screen women for breast cancer. The abilities to detect small micro-calcifications that are possible indicators of malignant processes and to distinguish between abnormal and normal soft tissue findings are crucial in mammography. Current systems employ high-resolution full field detectors to spot micro-calcifications and low energy X-rays to improve contrast and limit dose. However, 10-30% of malignant masses are still missed in screening due to limited soft tissue contrast. Potentially, energy resolved or energy weighted mammography can increase the sensitivity and specificity of mammography.
This Proof of Concept project aims to develop a novel silicon sensor module with an active area of better than 95%, by reducing the dead areas that was unavoidable up till now, to construct a large area detector. This technology could combine all features that are thought to be crucial in mammography: full field of view, high resolution, and energy resolved imaging.
The advantage of this innovative approach is that we provide a near seamless system of silicon sensors. In addition, there is a realistic chance that, with the extra information we can extract from the detected X-rays, we can reduce the required radiation dose to diagnose patients. Especially in the field of mammography, where patients are screened regularly, this can reduce the number of induced tumours.
The ambition is that this innovative project will set the baseline for the manufacturing of more advanced devices in medical imaging. The detector’s commercial potential will be exploited with our industry partners.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/oncology/cancer
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/radiology/medical imaging
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/oncology/cancer/breast cancer

Call for proposal

ERC-2013-PoC
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CSA-SA(POC) - Supporting action (Proof of Concept)

Host institution

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT
Address
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 116 600
Administrative Contact
Pieter Thijssen (Mr.)

Beneficiaries (2)

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 116 600
Address
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Pieter Thijssen (Mr.)
STICHTING NEDERLANDSE WETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK INSTITUTEN
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 32 100
Address
Winthontlaan 2
3526 KV Utrecht
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Arjen Van Rijn (Mr.)