Australian hi-tech company Micro-X has rolled out the first of its lightweight mobile X-ray carts fitted with its own in-house designed and manufactured X- ray tube.
The X-ray tubes are the world’s first to be electronically controlled and contain a unique carbon nanotube emitter designed by Micro-X in collaboration with South Australian researchers at the University of Adelaide and Flinders University.
The launch coincides with the opening of Micro-X’s expanded facilities at the Tonsley Innovation Precinct in Adelaide, South Australia.
The digital medical X-ray system is aimed at the rapidly expanding market for bedside imaging in hospitals and mobile healthcare. It is a fraction of the size, weight and cost of its competitors and has already been sold into 10 countries around the world.
This year Micro-X also signed an AU$10 million deal with defence company Thales Group to develop mobile X-ray products for security purposes.
Thales and Micro-X will collaborate on the global sales and support of Micro-X’s counter-terrorism Mobile Backscatter Imager of Improvised Explosive Devices and an airport checkpoint security scanner.
Micro-X is also developing a “Rover” mobile X-ray product for military field hospitals.
“Many organisations around the world have been trying for years to create this new kind of X-ray source, smaller and lighter than anything seen before, but we are delighted to win that race and be the first company in the world to bring a FDA approved medical imager to market with this technology” said Peter Rowland, Micro-X’s founder and Managing Director.
“This exciting innovation, the first in X-ray sources for 150 years, will revolutionise global X-ray imaging.
“Our carbon nanotube source is like a ‘LED globe’ where everyone else is still using old-fashioned hot filaments. We’re all very proud this is an South Australian invention.”
The core of Micro-X’s revolutionary technology platform involves an X-ray tube containing a carbon nanotube (CNT) electron emitter originally manufactured by American tech company XinRay.
The X-ray tube was the world’s first and only not to use heated-filament electron emission which is the key to reducing size, weight, heat and power.
Micro-X took two years to develop its own proprietary CNT emitter and is the second company capable of manufacturing CNT-based X-ray tubes globally.
The expanded Tonsley facilities were officially opened today by South Australian Premier Steven Marshall.
“It’s great to see a local company exporting this cutting-edge technology from our state,” Premier Marshall said.
“These X-ray units are in use all over the world, and Micro-X is already working on its next products to create more jobs and export opportunities.”
Since establishing in the Tonsley Innovation Precinct in 2015, Micro-X has expanded rapidly from a start-up to a multi-national trading company.
Tonsley is on the site of a former Mitsubishi car manufacturing plant in Adelaide’s southern suburbs. It is Australia’s first innovation hub and brings together advanced manufacturing companies, university STEM programs, renewable energy leaders and hi-tech pacesetters in the one precinct.