Monash University researchers in Australia have developed radical non-invasive technology that can be used to diagnose respiratory lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and lung cancer, and potentially fast-track treatments for patients.
Researchers have for the first time taken technology usually confined to high-tech synchrotron facilities into a common laboratory setting, and applied new four-dimensional X-ray velocity (XV Technology) imaging to provide high-definition and sensitive real-time images of airflow through the lungs in live organisms.
The study, led by Dr. Rhiannon Murrie from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Monash University, shows the likely impact this technology has in respiratory disease detection, monitoring and treatment through non-invasive and non-terminal means.
The technology also has the potential to see whether treatments for respiratory illnesses are working much earlier.
The technology has since been commercialized by Australian-based med-tech company 4Dx Limited, led by CEO and former Monash University researcher Professor Andreas Fouras. The technology has been upscaled for human clinical trials taking place in the USA, with Phase I already completed successfully.
The study was published in the internationally-renowned Nature Research Scientific Reports in January 2020.
The early diagnosis and ongoing monitoring of genetic and chronic lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma and lung cancer, is currently hampered by the inability to capture the spatial distribution of lung function in a breathing lung.
Since pulmonary function tests are measured at the mouth, these tests are unable to localize where in the lung any change in function originates. Additionally, CT scans, while providing quality 3D images, cannot image the lung while it is breathing, which means airflow through the airways and into the lung tissue cannot be measured." Dr. Rhiannon Murrie, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Monash University Related Stories
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