On October 1st, 2017, the BMBF-funded project “configurable, interface-open, dose-saving computer tomograph (KIDS-CT)” started under the roof of the STIMULATE research campus.
The central goal of this project is the development of a CT platform that has open hardware and software interfaces and is also modular. This modularity refers both to the internal hardware structure (e.g. interchangeable detector and electronic modules for processing high-speed signals) and to the peripherals (combination with additional modalities such as optical 3D imaging). The high degree of flexibility will enable quick adaptation to different requirements and application scenarios. A central role is played by the open interface structure, which makes it possible to easily connect extensions – both hardware and software – to the device via standardized interfaces.
Central research aspects are new concepts for dose reduction, the use of information from other modalities (e.g. optical or ultrasound images), the reduction of metal artefacts and the contradictory requirements for great openness of the system on the one hand and safe operation on the other other side, which is essential for medical approval.
Reducing the relatively high dose of ionizing radiation to which patients are exposed during scanning represents the greatest challenge when using this technology. The “KIDS-CT” project focuses on pediatrics as an exemplary clinical application. In these small patients in particular, a significantly reduced radiation dose is necessary in order to reduce the risk of serious radiation damage.