Innovative miniaturised FPS

Transforming X-ray Imaging

Adaptix is revolutionising Radiology by producing an innovative miniaturised Flat Panel X-ray Source that can be integrated into a manufacturers existing product line. The complementary reconstruction algorithm that was developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, ensures the optimal calculation of a Digital Tomosynthesis volume in DICOM format. ​

Digital Tomosynthesis (DT) using conventional X-ray systems has already demonstrated its clinical potential beyond breast imaging. DT helps, for example, to better characterize equivocal lesions in planar chest X-ray and can optimize the use of CT resources. The introduction of Adaptix’s innovative distributed Flat Panel Source enables the design of compact, affordable DT systems that would allow more patients timely and easy access to low-dose 3D imaging.

    The Flat Panel Source

    Our Flat-Panel X-ray Source (FPS) is made up of an array of cold cathode field emitters, sealed into a unit together with a power supply. The field emitters each generate a conelet of X-rays. Because the array would otherwise produce a large number of overlapping X-rays, a proprietary system allows for each X-ray emission to be addressed and individually controlled which avoids the common problem of high voltage switching.

    The Flat-Panel array emits X-rays covering many different angles allowing depth information to be derived through tomosynthesis. A reduced standoff distance (for instance, 50cm instead of 170cm for chest imaging) is used for an FPS-based solution, reducing power requirements and thermal challenges compared to conventional tube-based X-ray sources. A further benefit of the array is the production beam focal spots which are well below the typical millimetre range and allows for enhanced resolution.

    Digital tomosynthesis (DT), where a conventional X-ray tube is moved through a range of angles to derive 3D data, has been shown to give better diagnostic information than 2D X-ray.

    However, the limited depth resolution of DT (due to the acquisition covering only a circa 40-degree angle instead of 360 degrees as in a CT exam) may lead to difficulties in localising some structures as well as to artefacts. The Adaptix system ‘sweeps’ in 2 dimensions, allowing enhanced ‘z’ resolution relative to conventional DT.

    In addition the acquisition time on commercially available systems ranges from five to twelve seconds, breathing induced motion artefacts, and consequently blurred images are another concern with chest DT. Holding their breath for up to twelve seconds can be very difficult for many patients and the resulting artefacts are often impossible to correct – even with sophisticated reconstruction algorithms. By switching the emission electronically, the Adaptix technology allows faster acquisition times.

    No existing DT systems are mobile, therefore cannot be used for point-of-care diagnostics. They are also too large and expensive to be deployed in primary care or out of a hospital setting. The Adaptix technology is designed to enable low-cost systems to allow widespread deployment beyond the hospital, into primary care and ultimately the ambulance and developing world.

    Adaptix’s FPS uses a rectangular array of emitters instead of just a line. It has the potential to enable lower-cost, smaller footprint, higher performance DT devices that are compact enough to be employed at the patient’s bedside. The FPS is composed of an array of cold cathode field emitters that can produce X-ray energies in a range relevant for medical imaging: 20-120 keV. The array generates a large number of overlapping X-ray conelets, and a raster system allows for each X-ray emitter to be fired individually or in clusters. Control of the emission process is achieved through electromagnets, avoiding the common problem of high-voltage switching. The use of an FPS for tomosynthesis enables the source to be much closer to the patient than standard CXR stand-off distances.

    This innovative approach is complemented by application of novel image reconstruction techniques producing a slice-by-slice reconstruction which enables extremely quick partial analysis and adjustment of slice thickness over regions of interest. The approach uses backprojection together with a ramp-filter, and is substantially less memory intensive than techniques that must reconstruct the volume as a whole. In addition, noise and artifact reduction techniques and the ability to reconstruct slices in super-resolution improve the reconstruction quality, whilst computational optimisation ensures that the method is fast.

    Research and Development

    Adaptix is focused on transforming radiology. We recognize that outside of healthcare, there are additional opportunities for our X-ray technology. Our research efforts seek to develop a range of capabilities, building on our core technologies, including electron beam production and control through field emission, X-ray conversion and collimation, vacuum enclosures, and support systems such as embedded electronics and high-voltage generation.

    ​Our research team includes scientists, engineers and technicians with a combined expertise in the aforementioned disciplines.

    ​Our facilities include an on-site prototyping shop, clean rooms, precision assembly labs and X-ray testing labs. Our development team focuses on translating our own research into prototypes and products whilst our team of engineers and technicians use their extensive knowledge of materials and systems to design and build our products. We follow iterative development models, quickly incorporating test data into new revisions.

    Research and Development

    Adaptix has 20 patent families with over 150 filed patents to protect the development of its addressable Flat Panel X-ray Source (‘FPS’) and the applications of the 3D imaging that the technology permits. The patent portfolio now covers the full system including methods and apparatus for producing X-rays and the tools for 3D image reconstruction.

    ​The combination of patents awarded and filed gives Adaptix the freedom to continue to innovate, while protecting further research and development into distributed arrays.

    Facilities and Collaborations

    Adaptix’s R&D facility is located at Oxford University’s Begbroke Science Park. Work is also conducted at the state-of-the-art facilities at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, one of the national scientific research laboratories in the UK operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

    ​The company also collaborates with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in assessing device performance.

    ​Various academic collaborations for research also exist with Oxford University and the Cockcroft Institute.

    Hannah Lawrence-Lelitte (Assoc. CIPD) spent 10 years working as a senior Administrator for the University of Oxford and in HR and training roles across industries including publishing, environmental management and motorsport.

    Hannah’s background is in Organisational Pyschology and she has a BSc in Psychology from the University of Surrey.

    Martin Stofanko has a PhD in Immunology and MSc in Applied Genetics from University of Birmingham. Following Postdoctoral work at University of Cambridge he moved into industry in Brazil developing genetic tests for their low budget public healthcare system.

    He is experienced in defining, executing and writing up quality assurance and technical documentations for IVDs and up to class IIa sterile MDs in the UK, Brazil and Germany. He has lead validation, external testing and transfer to manufacturing activities within company and outsourced abroad. He has established and extended ISO 13485 QMS from D&D to manufacturing, sales and distribution.

    John has 30+ Years industry experience with a comprehensive background within Global Roles in Semiconductor, Electronics and Medical Device Industries.

    Areas of expertise include, Start Up Operations, Programme and Performance Management, New Product Introduction and Product Outsource/Transfer.

    Conrad Dirckx has a BA in Computer Science and PhD in MRI Imaging from Cambridge University as well as a master’s degree from the Ecole Centrale Paris in real-time computing. He has worked for GE Healthcare in their workstation, vascular x-ray and MRI business units and prior to joining Adaptix, spent 11 years working for Siemens in their molecular imaging division leading development projects for cardiology, neurology and oncology software products.

    He is an APMP certified project manager who helped to pioneer the transition to lean/agile software development within Siemens MI.

    Andy graduated with an Engineering Masters and boxing Blue from Oxford University, then gained Chartered Engineer status as a project manager while working for the Ministry of Defence. On the MOD Fast Stream, Andy gained corporate and leadership experience in a variety of strategic roles as well as leading counter terrorism teams in Iraq. Andy was awarded the Iraq medal and formally commended for changing the Coalition Forces campaign strategy.

    Andy then went into leadership consulting & coaching (clients now diplomats & in No.10) and also moved into the commercial sector founding a film & TV company, raising finance and building relationships with the major studios. While he got the companies up and running Andy secured acting roles in Coronation Street and Emmerdale to help pay the bills.

    Steve Wells spent 12 years developing medical devices for Siemens Molecular Imaging before joining Adaptix.

    He has a PhD in Neuroscience, MSc in Medical Physics and a Natural Sciences degree from Cambridge. Prior to Siemens he worked as a software engineer on various commercial science projects.

    Dr Siân Phillips MB,BCh MRCP FRCR is an experienced Consultant Radiologist based in South Wales.
    She gained her undergraduate and postgraduate medical training in Wales. She has held several leadership roles during her career, including Associate Dean and Head of School at Health Education
    and Improvement Wales; chair of Medical Imaging Sub-Committee and Imaging Essential Services Group, advising Welsh Government; and Clinical Director. As part of her active involvement in teaching and training, she has been involved in developing undergraduate curricula, been an FRCR examiner at the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR), and was instrumental in establishing and developing the National Imaging Academy, Wales. As a Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists, she plays an active role in RCR activity.
    Siân has extensive experience with Digital Tomosynthesis imaging in the general clinical setting. Her service was the first clinical department in the UK, second in Europe to introduce this innovative
    technology. Her experiences with digital tomosynthesis she has shared widely, presenting at international conferences worldwide. She has sat on the Medical Advisory Board of GE Healthcare and acted as Medical Advisor to Adaptix for several years.

    Adrian Crockett, BAcc, FCMA is a chartered management accountant who previously held the CFO position at Ocean Harvest Technology PLC where he helped raise £6m via an IPO, Thruvision PLC where he managed significant revenue growth towards £10m and at Venture Life PLC, an AIM listed consumer healthcare company where he was involved in the M&A of a number of businesses, participated in equity capital raises of over £25m and a revolving debt facility of similar with major UK & US banks. Before this he held senior financial management roles at Abbott Diabetes Care Ltd, a division of the US Healthcare company, Abbott, GSK & Novartis.

    Sarah Small BSc, ACA is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years’ experience of leading financial functions, including C-level experience within an AIM listed company.

    Sarah has worked across a various number of industry sectors including digital marketing, retail, entertainment, education and construction. Sarah has a mathematics degree from Warwick University.