Medical imaging is of late widely used as a diagnostic approach. Not only is this method important for diagnosing in real-time but can also provide an avenue upon which certain procedures meant to bring out therapy is completely achievable. Many diagnostic centres use convectional approach to carry out the many imaging procedures. This involves using conventional x-rays, which has many disadvantages hindering the effectiveness of the procedure, and the final image to justify diagnosis. Imaging takes several dimensions like radiology, computed tomography scanning, fluoroscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging. These methods employ contrast media that helps identify and differentiates the finest details. Unlike conventional methods using normal x-ray cathode tubes, a novel technology using synchrotron radiation is changing this scientific approach. This method has several advantages that make it preferable over conventional application of x-ray methods. Though the acceptance and appreciation of this method is not widely applicable because of factors like cost and manpower running the facilities, in the coming decade most medical approaches in drug manufacture, therapy, and diagnosis will take a direction using synchrotron radiation to achieve these. X-ray Synchrotron Radiation source for medical applications Synchrotron radiation is an electromagnetic radiation originating from accelerator electrons or particles. If comparison is done with the normal X-ray beam the electron beam produced in this state as well as other methods of x-ray production this one has the highest level of energy, highest values for intensities (because it has the brightest source), good order of magnitudes, highest level of both elliptical and linear polarization. Other important features include having the highest brilliance, its emittance is the lowest whereas collimation is highest and the most efficient. These are some of its characteristics making it superb in carrying out x-ray procedures (Biology and Medicine 2006). The other main advantage in addition to the above-mentioned is the ability of synchrotron method to use soft and hard x-rays to examine biological samples and specimens under scientific investigations, the usual common range of x-ray photos is 8-10 keV up to 150 keV. Radiotherapy will always employ the range of hundreds of KeVs or higher that falls within the regions of gamma X-rays photon energy. Even though human tissues are considered opaque for photon energies far below 10 KeV, absorption coefficients plays a pivotal role when examining tissues and organs based on x-rays. Most generation of x-rays from conventional and medical accelerators utilising a process known as Bremsstrahlung will lose the electron beam when targeted in a sample to produce the X-ray beams. Production of these photons comes because of natural effects of bending the trajectory of energetic charged particles (Pelka 2008). This happens because the energy is radiated by charged particles upon their bending and deflection in the magnetic fields of bending magnets or special devices known as insertion devices. The range at which synchrotron ration spans goes down to Ultra Violet, visual light, and infrared zones. This is important for application in imaging and techniques like spectroscopy for examination of tissue cell and structures within the sub-cellular regions (Banas et al., 2007). Synchrotron in medicine Other than enabling to carry out research and other medical diagnostic approach the use of Synchrotron light and radiation also can be applied in this field to bring more light in the study of biological specimens and their constituent macromolecules. In this context the protein structure, enzymatic composition, viral aspects. These studies are crucial because they span within the context of unveiling the structural composition, which also can be analyzed as spatial arrangement (Banas et al 2007; Pelka 2008). These structural studies involve quantitative analysis and identification of atomic assembles for large molecule. Such studies form the cornerstone upon which other scientific medical approach for drug discovery and future assessment of biochemical functions can be speculated. This provides avenues and important leads because knowledge gaps can portray a new dimension that differs from the initial or former trend of the previous scientific approach and thus help in finding important therapeutic procedures or alternatives (Biology & Medicine, 2006). One of this is crystallography procedure which uses synchrotron light to illuminate structures in the body that would otherwise not been clearly differentiated using conventional x-ray radiations. The method is effectively attainable because specific macromolecules intended for examination provides the much needed speed and accuracy of the monochromatic light setting that can fall within the radio waves or visible light zones. These zones are not found in the usual x-ray procedure and thus provide an additional advantage for examination of proteins and their structural composition among other molecules of biochemical importance in the human body (Pelka 2008). This can be done both in vivo and in vitro. Synchrotron radiation is applicable in this case because there it is believed it packs more photon within a smaller light beam; this gives more energy generation from its source. Generation uses insertion devices, giving more output when compared to their corresponding sources. This will give more information of the image illuminated. Such an approach makes it possible to carry out an in situ experimental design as well, in most cases such experiments in conventional methods would not be efficient if proper sample preparation is incomplete or partly prepared, yet this is not the case with Synchrotron radiation, which may need preparation or not. This depends on the scientist if interested and have time for that but some cases in which one cannot afford to waste time in carrying out such procedures the experiment can be effectively accomplished without affecting the expected results (Pelka 2008). This comes with ability of selecting appropriate wavelength of the light relevant for a given biological sample of a given wavelength; such an approach enables flexibility to tailor the research to major in a certain dimension. X-Ray imaging Attainment of this kind of x-ray is possible upon several criterions. Synchrotron radiation induced x-ray emission (µ - SRIXE) helps to image and brings out the concentration of most elements in a biological material at possibly the highest resolved distinction that other methods cannot replicate (Pelka, 2008). X-rays produced by synchrotron radiation are usually matter’s structure specific; this is also true for the material magnetic property as well, even though the photons given out are more intense than both dental and medical x-rays. Various tissues have specific absorption coefficiency that needs consideration when planning imaging procedures; this consideration is particularly attainable when taking synchrotron radiotherapy because of its high mode of flexibility (Banas et al., 2007). An x-ray image from an SR source Imaging can take different forms as earlier on mentioned, but the most exiting of all is the ability of using this method to cure or as therapeutic means of eradicating a certain disease condition. This takes into account the diagnosis after which precise identification of pathological tissues and cells in the animal helps in making this possible (Biology & Medicine, 2006). This imaging criterion uses absorption contrast that will be brought to light later. It is important, however, to mention that these phase contrast are usually very specific to synchrotron radiation sources so that the distinction is clearly brought out as expected. This procedure is successfully applicable in soft x-rays. This is vital with a consideration that various tissues have specific absorption coefficiency and for that matter requires different contrast medium. Not all medium can be applied when exposing major organs one has to take into consideration their absorption, sensitivities to developing cancers or undergoing mutational changes when exposed to a certain threshold of dose from the x-ray source (Biology & Medicine, 2006). These considerations will make one design an appropriate exposure factors taking into account the possible effects in mind to provide the best therapeutic alternative free from adverse effects and thus lowers chances of worsening the patient’s chances of recovering from the condition under concern. Experimental images obtained from SR source Examination of Breast tissue This method is applicable in Application of this method is best suited in mammography studies, which involves early detection of cancerous cells in the breast for early institution of therapeutic means. Synchrotron radiation enables a better reflection than what comes out in a similar conventional method. This process aims at assessment of amorphous and pleomorphic calcifications of breast tissues although some scientific approach champions the utilization of radiation to kill cancerous cell, this cannot be use in mammography because its cells are very delicate and sensitive just like gonad cells that can easily mutate underexposures to any form of radiation (Biology & Medicine, 2006). Using a form of radiation that take into account the focal length is possible only when using synchrotron radiation otherwise in conventional method this is impossible and when considered the possibility of producing a distorted image are very high. This distance is crucial in keeping these cells safe from overexposures to triggering effects of overdose from radiation sources. This kind of procedure should be replicated when examining malignancies in prostates for a suspected prostate cancer. This radiation provides highly resolved images of calcified breast tissues undergoing necrosis and those that have undergone apoptosis. Their appearance is appropriate for effective diagnosis. Abnormal tissues and cells appears as distinct, separate, and solitary spects, yet this is contrary to their appearance in convention radiological techniques, here they look like a compact mode usually as clusters with multiple spects, which are not solitary (Pelka, 2008). Efficiency and effectiveness is possible from the dimension upon which the dosimeter of the exposure factors can be regulated to fit within a given wider range of white light in an electromagnetic spectrum. The technique offers fewer chances of misdiagnosis because finer details are clearly brought out using beams of monochromatic x-rays (Pelka, 2008). However, much it seems the best way to go with, it also exposes some weaknesses that deters its widespread applications in medicine, some of these are related to costs of installing such facilities. There are very few of its type across the globe and the fewer number of fully trained competent scientists able to use it for research and medical applications. Other disease conditions whose early diagnosis is available based on this method includes atherosclerosis, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Imaging as a therapeutic method Imaging can achieve several medical objectives one of these is diagnosis. However, treatments of some medical conditions have been successful using this approach. Most of these will require an exposure dose lethal to these abnormal cells and tissue without affecting adjacent tissues and organs. Such specificity requires application of this radiation technique owing to its unique characteristics of collimation, intensity, and brightness. So far two main methods of therapy are under utilisation, these are radiotherapy using micro-beam radiotherapy (MRT), and photon activated therapy (PAT). Application of these methods is extensive in animals than in humans where rats are used as test samples to determine their effectiveness and if the same is applicable in humans as well. These animal species were first made to acquire certain disease conditions like cancerous tissues before their exposure to these radiations (Pelka, 2008). MRT destroyed brain cells that had cancerous effects while leaving other cells intact. Tumours in brains and cancerous conditions as well as neurosurgery radiotherapy are made possible from using synchrotron radiation. The other advantage of these radiations is their capabilities of spanning between the connective tissues and their intact neural cells; this will lower the risk of necrosis and cell apoptosis. The entire process will ensure the integrity of cells is preserved while eradicating those unwanted within the matrix and stop further multiplication of abnormal tissues as well. However, some studies are underway trying to connect the diagnostic data with the therapeutic mode so that the two may be affected as one. Some scientists have extended their studies in this respect to include investigation of cognitive and understanding of life processes in physiological and pathological aspects to enable them carry out effective treatment of clients. This aims to attain new methods of diagnosing and treating breast cancers and central nervous therapeutic interventions (Pelka, 2008). Absorption contrast imaging with synchrotron radiation Biological specimen’s atomic number and electron composition under examination determines absorption contrast, whereas the magnitude for electron energies depends on linear absorption coefficiency (Banas et al., 2007). Conventional x-rays tube gives incoherent, un-collimated radiation made up of continual distribution of radiation over photon energy scale. Large focus size, absence of coherence, spread of absorption coefficiency over photon energy leads to a lower signal and noise ratio because of photon scatter brought about by inappropriate direction (Banas et al., 2007). Synchrotron light brings out better contrasting and resolution in classic radiographical images due to its better collimation, smaller angular dimension for its sources, partial coherence, as well as optimal wavelengths. This enhancement is made possible by its use of light with one wavelength (monochromatic light of x-ray beam) as well as ability to tune the wavelength to fit the specific type of tissue or contrasting agent or both (Banas et al., 2007). Contrast studies make it possible to visualize finer details of internal structures. The media will attenuate the x-ray beam as it passes through the organs or vessels with the media. This will make them enhanced and even brighter. These procedures needs to a faster examination to avoid chances of their elimination from the body by the liver and the kidneys. Studies shows that contrast studies coupled with synchrotron radiography gives the best examination of delicate tissues. Precautions are usually taken before and after employing the use of contrasting substances, the patient would be required to take enough water at the end to help eliminate the medium from the body. Institution of medication is pivotal to curb hypersensitivities and allergic reactions manifesting itself as flares, itching, and dyspnoea. This radiographic method provides a more improved image; prior scanning may not suffice in comparison matters (Banas et al., 2007). Contrast substances are applicable across computed tomography scanning, magnetic resonance imaging, and fluoroscopic techniques of imaging. These specialized techniques employ unique diagnostic criteria like angiography, bronchoscopy, cystography, and myelography. Synchrotron radiation for CT scans helps identify tumour cells in the brain; they have also been used to carry out surgical interventions in the sense that they provide the exact locations of these tumours. This helps in leading the surgical knives in carrying out the process of removing the mass from the brain. CT scanning based on this radiation is most appropriate considering the advantages brought about by their characteristics (Banas et al., 2007). Using synchrotron method scales up contrasting and resolving effects of classical radiographic imaging technique. Dichromographic computed tomography mode of CT scan records intensities by considering line to line in a double detector system. The images formed in such a case have a maximum enhanced contrasting effect, mapping the distribution of contrasting medium based on the two images once upon their logarithmic subtraction (Banas et al., 2007). This computed tomography scanning technique uses iodine agent to map tiny differences in its concentration. Imaging lung to assess its profile and functional capacity is made possible by using xenon substance as the inhaled contrasting agent. The medium helps to monitor the bronchiole diameter. This process has also been done in rabbits where temporal subtraction imaging (TSI) was used (Banas et al., 2007). This procedure relies on the reference image taken before contrasting agent is introduced in the specific vessels. Dichromographic computed tomography scanning examines lesions affecting the spinal cord by showing not only the extradural and intradural masses and lesions but also delineates spinal cord displacements as well as protrusion of intervertebral discs. Phase contrast in image formation Applied in the Synchrotron radiation diagnostic procedures, this depends on wavelength, property of object under examination and Synchrotron radiation source characteristics. These factors determine the image quality and the coefficiency of the specimen absorption. Conclusion Medical imaging is currently the backbone of major disease diagnosis. X-rays from the synchrotron radiations are best suited to enable efficiency of this approach. This is because the technique has a number of advantages over a conventional method of x-rays. Some of these characteristics improve quality of the final image gotten from such procedures. They also make it possible to use radiation within the entire source of white light, which is from soft to hard x-rays (infrared, Ultra Violet, and Visible light). This unique characteristic coupled with using light with monochromatic beam enhances the image imaged. Unlike conventional method using usual source of X-ray, the focal distance is not a factor in making one worry because this can be compensated for by varying the light intensity without affecting the final image. In cases of research the specimen would not require preparation if there is no time for that. The image produced will always have high resolved power and thus provide vital details; this makes synchrotron technique most appropriate because chances of missing out important diagnostic details are minimal. This mode of imaging also can be used as therapeutic.
medical imaging based on synchrotron aspect (the revolution in service delivery)
June 14, 2012 17:39
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