DEXA Scanner System
A light weight, high resolution and precision, dual energy X-ray absorptions scanner for determining bone geometry and mass is needed.
Inventors at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have developed a scanner that will be suitable for traditional and spaceflight uses requiring accurate bone and muscle mass measurements. This unit will have the precision required to detect changes in bone mass and geometry as small as 1% and changes in muscle mass as small as 5%. Target weights place the unit at less than 100 kg. In addition, both hardware and software will be optimized to address the bone and muscle mass problem due to such conditions as disease, oseoporosis, and microgravity (spaceflight problem). In particular, the DEXA scanner system makes many innovative claims. The DEXA system has higher precision and accuaracy in the determation of bone geometry and mass (bone and muscle) due to measurements in three-dimentions; The DEXA's measurements and use of geometric information (in 3-D) determine bone strenght and its mechanical properties. Information is independent of relative patient position due to multiple projections, requires only precise, angular position displacement of scans (small number of projections, nominally 3-5). The DEXA uses structural information to perform engineering analysis of bone. The system actually develops a 3-D model of the patients bone, i.e., a mechanical model equivalent. The system has a storage ability for a particular patient model and can compare subsequent measurements to the original information to answer such critical questions such as: 1. Are the patient's bones weaker than normal?, 2. What is a patient's risk of fracture? 3. Have the patient's bones gotten weaker or stronger since the last assessment. The DEXA System has the ability to use data from other sources and generate an equivalent bone model with the required data set not being necessarily complete. Artificial intelligence will be used to bridge data lapses or supply generalized parameter information.
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