Not Just for Bones! X-rays Can Now Tell Us about Soft Tissues too

05-11-2020 Wataru Yashiro, Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials (IMRAM), Tohoku University 0 comments

We all learnt in school that the beams from x-ray machines pass right through soft tissues like skin and internal organs, but not dense materials like bones, right? Not so fast.

Researchers in Japan have figured out a way to use x-rays to tell doctors about those squishy parts as well, not just bones, in a similar way to how ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) work--but with much greater resolution.

This greater resolution for the field of elastography--a non-invasive method of medical imaging that investigates the stiffness and elasticity of soft tissue--should allow healthcare professionals to identify much smaller and deeper tissue problems, such as lesions, than they can with ultrasound or MRI, the two main types of elastography used currently. The scientists published their results in March in the journal Applied Physics Express.