Space Research Centre

Bioimaging and Medical Physics

Medical imaging of the thyroid gland.

Whether you’re looking at distant galaxies or inside the human body, many of the challenges for sensors and detectors are the same. At the University of Leicester we are using the same skills that build telescopes to develop the next generation of imaging instruments for biology and medicine.

We are able to draw on a range of expertise in design, mechanical engineering and detector technology originally developed for space exploration to solve multidisciplinary challenges. Some of our projects include;

  • Hybrid Gamma Camera – This is a portable device that allows diagnostic nuclear medicine scans to be undertaken at a patient’s bedside rather than in a specialist department. This technology has undergone a clinical pilot and has now been licensed to an external company to develop a commercial system.
  • Diagnostic Development Unit – The DDU is an interdisciplinary project to develop new non-invasive techniques in the detection of disease. Located in A&E in Leicester Royal Infirmary, the DDU combines breath and other gas phase analysis with hyperspectral imaging techniques to research markers of disease.
  • Fluorescence lifetime imaging – Fluorescence lifetime imaging has applications in a range of biological and medical research including drug discovery and clinical diagnostics. Using microchannel plates and photon counting detectors with picosecond timing we are developing ways to speed up this technique by orders of magnitude.

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