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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K020196/1
Title: Point-of-Care High Accuracy Fracture Risk Prediction
Principal Investigator: Rogers, Professor K
Other Investigators:
Martin, Professor R Zioupos, Professor P Stone, Professor N
Evans, Professor P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
HALO X-ray Technologies Ltd Radius Diagnostics Ltd
Department: Cranfield Defence and Security
Organisation: Cranfield University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 30 August 2013 Ends: 21 October 2016 Value (£): 766,251
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
27 Nov 2012 EPSRC Engineering Research Challenges in Healthcare Call Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
A significant and escalating worldwide health burden is the aging population and its demand for accurate medical diagnostics. Of particular concern are osteo diseases such as osteoporosis as these become significantly more apparent in elderly populations. Unfortunately, current diagnostic methods are poor predictors of pathology outcomes such as fracture risk. The challenge then is to identify and develop enhanced and new approaches to bone quality appraisal that can be employed for accurate prognosis, targeted therapies and therapy assessment.

It has been well demonstrated that 'bone quality' (including characteristics such as collagen/mineral ratio, collagen integrity, mineral crystallite size, microstrain) has a marked affect on a bone's mechanical properties and is probably the 'missing' information required to produce diagnostically predictive models of fracture. Unfortunately there is no current technique for its in vivo determination. However, such information is embodied within conventional X-ray scatter signatures (e.g. X-ray diffraction) although these are weak and present significant measurement difficulties.

We have identified a potential route to in vivo measurement of these clinically valuable but weak signals. The technology has only recently become available through independent innovations for (i) X-ray generation (flat panel/source-on-a-chip) and (ii) obtaining 'amplified' information from scattered X-rays (using 'focal construct technology', FCT). Critically, the multi-emitter flat panel X-ray source will enable us to engineer precisely the analytical X-ray beam required to provide scatter signatures enhanced by several orders of magnitude. The FCT beam topology also enables the simultaneous measurement of the absorbed X-rays (to estimate bone mineral density) and those coherently (and incoherently) scattered. The source-on-a-chip technology is manufactured as a flat-panel device capable of generating X-rays from very low-power sources. It has the additional advantage that it may be fabricated to produce an X-ray source of precisely the geoemetric form required for FCT. Ultimately we envisage these techniques being integrated within a single imaging/DEXA/scatter system to provide a comprehensive diagnostic tool. The nature of the techniques also enables design towards hand portable devices for point-of-patient care. Thus this proposal principally concerns the development of a new instrument that will be subsequently used to examine the possibilities of applying our novel technologies to a number of different areas and therefore it will enable a new and exciting research capability.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.cranfield.ac.uk