Researchers at the University of Monash in Australia have developed a radical non-invasive technology that can be used to diagnose respiratory lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, and asthma, in addition to seeking potentially rapid treatments for patients.
The researchers used the facilities with a high-tech synchrotron in a common laboratory environment and applied new four-dimensional x-ray images to provide sensitive, high-definition airflow images in real-time through the lungs in organisms alive
The study, led by Dr. Rhiannon Murrie of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering of the University of Monash, shows the likely impact that this technology has on the detection, monitoring, and treatment of respiratory diseases through non-invasive and non-terminal means. Also, this technology has the potential to see if treatments for respiratory diseases are working.
Since then, Seconde Wind technology has been marketed by Australia-based medical technology company 4Dx Limited, led by the CEO and former researcher at Monash University, Professor Andreas Fouras.
‘Early diagnosis and continuous monitoring of genetic and chronic lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, and lung cancer, are currently hampered by the inability to capture the spatial distribution of lung function in a breathing lung’, said Dr. Murrie.
Since lung function tests are measured in the mouth, these tests cannot locate in which section of the lung the change in function originates. Also, CT scans, although they provide quality three-dimensional images, cannot obtain images of the lung while breathing, which means that the flow of air through the airways and into the lung tissue cannot be measured.
Dr. Murrie’s research and the multidisciplinary collaboration of physicists, engineers, biologists, and clinicians are changing this approach to the diagnosis and treatment of lung diseases, by determining the functional movement of the lung and airflow in live mice, acquired through of X-ray technology at 30 frames per second.