US-based Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and New Zealand-based medical device company MARS Bioimaging have announced a new partnership for the latter’s MARS 5×120 Extremity scanner.

The MARS 5×120 Extremity scanner is a photon-counting spectral computerised tomography (CT) imaging technology, based on MediPix3 x-ray detector technology. It is designed as a point-of-care system for use in clinical offices and ambulatory settings.

Under the collaboration, HSS and MARS will partner to advance musculoskeletal imaging and diagnosis through the HSS Innovation Institute.

Both organisations will study specific aspects of the MARS 5×120 Extremity Scanner and co-develop new scanning technologies and systems.

HSS Department of Radiology and Imaging Chairperson Hollis Potter said: “Our team looks forward to collaborating with MARS to assess the technology and pursue other new applications and development opportunities.

“We see this type of imaging modality and detector technology as the next evolution in CT scanners; as HSS physicians and innovators, our goal of continuously improving patient care and outcomes includes identifying and pursuing new technologies, as well as developing partnerships that leverage HSS’s expertise and innovative spirit with cutting-edge industry advancements to drive innovation.”

The MARS 5×120 Extremity scanner was initially developed as part of current particle physics research at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN).

Hospital for Special Surgery said that the system is intended to address clinical needs like pre- and post-surgical planning, evaluation of fracture healing, and identification of implant complications.

Previously, the MediPix3 detector technology enabled MARS Bioimaging to develop the world’s first commercial photon-counting 3-D colour X-ray in 2010.

The X-ray is said to generate high-contrast images of bone detail and assessment of bone density at a fracture site at a significantly reduced radiation dose compared to traditional CT.

MARS CEO Mark Figgitt said: “We’re pleased that a world-class clinical organisation like HSS sees the potential for the MARS CT scanning technology.

“Given their substantial experience and expertise in the field of musculoskeletal health, including the volume of orthopaedic surgeries performed there, we are confident that HSS is the right partner to help us evaluate and develop our technology and clinical applications.”