X-ray imaging // 07.04.2020 // DECTRIS

Color X-ray Imaging at Low Dose with Hybrid-Photon Counting

After one century of traditional X-ray imaging, Hybrid Photon Counting (HPC) technology provides a solution to two most pressing concerns in X-ray medical diagnostics and treatment: color X-ray imaging, aka spectral imaging, and decreased radiation dose. Building on the success in X-ray detector development, DECTRIS’ HPC technology shows its merit for addressing the future requirements of preclinical and medical research, interventional radiology and breast imaging.

HPC detectors address the fundamental requirement of X-ray color imaging: the ability to distinguish X-ray energies (colors) in order to assign them to particular materials in an investigated object. With their spectral capability and enhanced spatial resolution, HPC detectors enable a reliable multi-functional analysis, and allow medical professionals to differentiate traditionally undistinguishable components such as fat, water, calcium and disease markers. 

Reduced radiation dose and more detail visibility are governed by four features of the detector:

These features are obvious advantages for patients but also attractive benefits for investigating dynamic systems.

The benefits and maturity of DECTRIS’ HPC technology for the use in medical research has been recognized by many top-level research centers: Technical University in Munich, German Cancer Research Center, Paul Scherrer Institute and Duke University. Committed to the cutting-edge research, these research groups have already set the path towards unprecedented microCT [1,2], angiography [2] and in vivo CT [4]. 

The way to the standardized use of HPC technology in medical research and diagnostic may be long, but DECTRIS is up to the challenge. With more than ten years of experience in HPC detectors and a large production facility, DECTRIS is serious about designing and producing detectors that can cause a paradigm shift in the medical community. The DECTRIS brand color may be blue, but our detectors resolve the full spectrum of X-ray colors.


  1. Badea, C. T., Clark, D. P., Holbrook, M., Srivastava, M., Mowery, Y. and Ghaghada, K. B., “Functional imaging of tumor vasculature using iodine and gadolinium- based nanoparticle contrast agents: a comparison of spectral micro-CT using energy integrating and photon counting detectors,” Phys. Med. Biol. 64(6), 065007 (2019).
  2. Dickmann, J., Maier, J., Sawall, S., Brönnimann, C. and Kachelrieß, M., “A count rate-dependent method for spectral distortion correction in photon counting CT,” SPIE Med. Imaging, 6–9 (2018).
  3. Mechlem, K., Sellerer, T., Ehn, S., Münzel, D., Braig, E., Herzen, J., Noël, P. B. and Pfeiffer, F., “Spectral Angiography Material Decomposition Using an Empirical Forward Model and a Dictionary-Based Regularization,” IEEE Trans. Med. Imaging 37(10), 2298–2309 (2018).
  4. Clark, D. P., Holbrook, M., Lee, C. L. and Badea, C. T., “Photon-counting cine-cardiac CT in the mouse,” PLoS One 14(9) (2019).

More on this subject

Medical // 05.04.2022 Tumor Imaging With a Novel Spectral Micro-CT
Medical // 21.07.2021 Hybrid-Photon-Counting Technology in Medical Research: Partnerships That Work
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