Offbeat Video

By Jack Williams

These incredibly detailed renderings may be the future of the medical profession, as scientists recently developed the world’s first 3D COLOUR X-RAYS.

The rotating x-ray footage, released by developers MARS Biomimaging Ltd., shows an incredibly vivid segment of a human ankle, including the likes of bone, skin and fat.


Images have also been released of full-color segments of a human wrist, too.

The new technology was created by New Zealand-based MARS Bioimaging using CERN’s Medipix3 technology, which has been in development for around a decade.

According to Prof. Phil Butler, one of the two scientists who built the scanner, this technology could help identify a number of diseases which cannot currently be diagnosed using imaging along.

It’s the Medipix3 chip that gives this technology an edge, Prof. Butler added, as its small pixels and accurate energy resolution help build a 3D rendering like no other.

The chip’s scanning information is combined with a variety of algorithms, which then allows scientists to distinguish between the likes of fat, water and signs of disease.

PIC FROM MARS BIOIMAGING / CATERS: Full-colour 3D x-ray of a human ankle

Over the months to come, the scanner will be used in clinical trials involving rheumatology and orthopedic patients.

Speaking of the recent breakthrough, Prof. Butler said: “I was stunned by the spatial resolution and the beauty of the images our vision team produced.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive. 

“People are excited about the potential of this technology for improving diagnosis and have been surprised by the quality of images it can create.”

He added: “There is some confusion about colour x-ray. 

PIC FROM MARS BIOIMAGING / CATERS: Full-colour 3D x-ray of a human ankle

“The colour part refers not to the final image, but to measuring the energy – or colour – of the x-rays as they arrive at the detector. 

“The energy of the x-ray gives us information about which material was in the object. 

“The final images are made by giving a color to each material in the object – such as bone, fat, soft tissue, and metal. 

“We like to choose life-like colours to help people see what is there. 

PIC FROM MARS BIOIMAGING / CATERS: Full-colour 3D x-ray of a human ankle

“This is totally different to coloring of black and white x-ray based on density.”

Going forward, MARS scientists will work on designing and building body part scanners using this technology.

A licensing agreement between CERN and MARS also means the technology will become commercialized.