On 01.10.2017, the BMBF-funded project "configurable, interface-open, dose-saving computer tomograph (KIDS-CT)" started under the umbrella 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 at the same time modular. This modularity refers both to the internal hardware structure (e.g. exchangeable detector and electronic modules for processing high-speed signals) and to the periphery (combination with additional modalities such as optical 3D imaging). The high degree of flexibility will allow a fast adaptation to different requirements and application scenarios. A central role is played by the open interface structure, which allows extensions - both hardware and software - to be connected to the device without complications 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 artifacts as well as the conflicting requirements for great openness of the system on the one hand and safe operation on the other, which is essential for medical approval.
The reduction of the relatively high dose of ionizing radiation to which patients are exposed during scanning is the greatest challenge in using this technology. As an exemplary clinical application, pediatrics is the focus of the "KIDS-CT" project. Especially with these small patients, a significantly minimized radiation dose is necessary to reduce the risk of serious radiation damage.