First scans produced from total-body 3D medical scanner


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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The world’s first medical imaging scanner that can capture a 3-dimensional (3D) image of the whole human body at once, has produced its first scans.

The scanner, named EXPLORER, combines positron emission tomography (PET) and x-ray computed tomography (CT) to image the entire body simultaneously. 

The device was developed by scientists at UC Davis in the United States in partnership with Shanghai-based United Imaging Healthcare (UIH), with the first images acquired in collaboration with the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the Zhongshan Hospital in Shanghai.

Ramsey Badawi, chief of Nuclear Medicine at UC Davis Health and vice-chair for research in the Department of Radiology, said he was “dumbfounded” when he saw the first images, adding, "the level of detail was astonishing". 

EXPLORER’s developers say the device can scan up to 40 times faster than current PET scans and can produce a diagnostic scan of the whole body in as little as 20-30 seconds. They expect that the technology will have countless applications, from improving diagnostics to tracking disease progression to researching new drug therapies.

The first images from scans of humans using the new device will be shown at the Radiological Society of North America meeting, which gets underway this weekend.