New CT scanner brings extinct animals to life

Brolga CT scannerMonash Biomedical Imaging’s new CT technology is helping researchers to digitally archive extinct Australian animals, while other investigators are using the scanner’s high resolution power to develop realistic 3D surgical training simulators.

The Siemens Somatom Up-Go CT scanner complements MBI’s range of human and preclinical imaging facilities by providing researchers with fast 3D X-ray imaging technology that can be used for large objects and animals.

Dr Justin Adams and Dr Alistair Evans in collaboration with Museum Victoria are using the CT scanner to help digitally resurrect extinct Australian fauna, such as the Tasmanian tiger and the pig-footed bandicoot. The CT images are helping to study the evolution of these animals, teach students about how these marsupials moved, and safely archive their anatomical and morphological data.

In another project, Monash University PhD student Dr Raf Ratinam is developing a 3D hand surgery simulator by imaging hand cadavers using MBI’s small and large CT scanners, and MRI scanner. By combining the CT and MRI data with existing anatomical and biomechanical data, he is creating a highly accurate model that can be used for surgical training and anatomy classes. He is also working with Monash University’s 3D printing expert, Prof Paul McMenamin to generate realistic hand anatomy models.

The CT scanner will also be used to verify MRI attenuation values and as a fiducial marker for localisation in the Australian Synchrotron’s radiotherapy development program.

MBI Director Prof Gary Egan said the new scanner builds on MBI’s X-ray imaging CT capabilities in Clayton.

“Researchers can now access small and large bore CT scanners in the same building, along with our other complementary imaging equipment and the ultra-high resolution X-ray imaging at the Australian Synchrotron,” he said.

MBI offers technical and scientific expertise to operate the new scanner, or for those wanting to operate the scanner themselves, appropriate training must be undertaken and a current radiation user license obtained.

To enquire about using our CT scanner, contact us.