The Microgap Chamber (MCG) is a new type of high resolution position-sensitive detector for ionising particles. It relies on the principles of proportional gas counters but can be manufactured using microelectronics technology. The MGC was developed for the next generation of high energy, high rate particle accelerators at CERN. As a result of these efforts a device with interesting characteristics was obtained. The adaptation/transformation of the present MGC-detector to the capabilities required for the medical experiments was a joint development of IMEC, the University of Brussels, INFN-Pisa and the Weizmann Institute of Science.
The project was aimed at the validation of gas electron multiplier technology within the area of digital radiation imaging systems. Specifically the project focused on the development of new real-time digital radiography detectors, combining Microgap Chamber Technology with a blue light photocathode capable of operation in a gaseous environment. The project addressed the present need of replacing photographic films or phosphor screens, by reliable, digital imaging devices in medical applications. It fitted within the new approach of bringing medical files in a centralised hospital information system.
The new instrument will allow more efficient mammography with possible dose reduction, high throughput, high resolution, digital storage and on-line inspection capabilities. The specifications for this medical validation study and the system integration were undertaken by Agfa-Gevaert.