A 3-D imaging system developed at University of Southampton combines CAT scanning and a gamma camera for the study of lung conditions, according to a university press release. The system maps lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis and asthma. It can be used to create a 360° image of how a drug is inhaled, dispersed and exhaled from the lungs. Using such images, experts could make better decisions on how to optimise the administration of drugs and gene therapies. The physicists are studying a group of volunteer patients and interpret the data from these scans.
The latest project using the technology is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Southampton and the pharmaceutical industry. It is investigating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and is part of a larger portfolio of research led by the team at Southampton. The purpose of the research is to inform patient care in NHS. The university is one of the few in the United Kingdom that has gamma camera equipment for research purposes, according to the press release.Camilla Andersson