National research infrastructure working together to improve the health of Australians

Innovation in Australia’s health and medical research translation has been boosted with National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)- enabled health and medical research partners signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Bioplatforms Australia (BPA), National Imaging Facility (NIF), Phenomics Australia, Population Health Research Network (PHRN) and Therapeutic Innovation Australia (TIA) will enhance collaborative opportunities between infrastructure capabilities and enable support across the whole research translation cycle, following the signing of the agreement to form the NCRIS Health Group.

Health and medical researchers investigate solutions to complex problems that are often not easily solved by a single discipline, and the NCRIS Health Group is aimed at enabling them collaboratively throughout the translational process.

Research to improve health outcomes is underpinned by research infrastructure encompassed by the NCRIS Health Group, including:

  • National integration of large-scale health datasets to enable population health research
  • Bespoke modeling to understand how diseases develop and test potential treatments 
  • Discovery and development research to identify drug targets
  • Development of medical products including therapeutics and diagnostics such as nuclear medicine and radiopharmaceuticals
  • Scale-up and manufacturing of medical products
  • National facilities supporting clinical trials

The NCRIS Health Group already enables research throughout the translation cycle, and this MOU will formalise access to health research expertise, instruments and infrastructure for collaborative use by researchers.

Prior to the formation of the NCRIS Health Group, partners have undertaken cooperative activities, including shared staffing, partnership in government initiatives such as the Medical Research Future Fund and the Australian Research Council, as well as collaboration in other key health and medical research projects.

President of the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance, Prof Gemma Figtree is undertaking internationally significant work enabled by the NCRIS Health Group in collaboration with other leading researchers and clinicians across biobanking, phenotypes, ‘omics, preclinical modeling and clinical trial networks as part of a strategy for novel drug development.

Prof Figtree said supporting collaborative medical product research will improve health outcomes for Australians through novel medical products, platforms, technologies and practices, which has the potential to improve quality of life and decrease health-related costs.

“I have enjoyed superb interaction with a number of the NCRIS Health capabilities through their support of the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance and CAD Frontiers. I am impressed by their vision and “can-do” approach, and our aligned philosophies around collaboration, multi-disciplinarity and acceleration of Australian discovery and innovation,” Prof Figtree said.

“Australian researchers are regarded at the highest level by our international colleagues. Improved alignment of our immense research talent to tackle our nation’s greatest health challenges, with maximum access to state-of-the-art infrastructure will accelerate solutions, but also benefit the growth of a vibrant and sustainable med-tech ecosystem that can attract global and local industry partnerships.”

The NCRIS Health Group is engaged in collaborative arrangements that support cross-disciplinary research, assisting Australian researchers to leverage access to world-leading facilities for more impactful outcomes. For more information, see the Health Innovation and Translation infographic below.

For further information about the NCRIS Health Group, contact:

National Imaging Facility

Population Health Research Network

Therapeutic Innovation Australia

#JoinNIF: We’re recruiting a Chief Operating Officer to lead critical core operations

The National Imaging Facility (NIF) has launched a recruitment campaign to find its next Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The COO will be responsible for managing the core activities of NIF, across critical administrative, financial and legal operations, and will lead NIF’s Central Operations team.

NIF provides capabilities that underpin nationally significant and impactful research, which translates to products and benefits for Australians in health, agriculture and new materials.

The work of the COO has significant national reach at a multi-institutional scale, leading the development and operation of NIF’s national governance framework and operational structure across 13 nodes located in five states, in alignment with the NIF vision and mission.

The COO will work closely with the CEO and the Governing Board, facilitating initiatives to deliver a national-scale flagship infrastructure project with international impact.

The COO is responsible for empowering and leading NIF’s high-performing central operations team by facilitating an energetic environment with an open communication culture.

The COO will communicate with and influence a diverse range of stakeholders, extending from Australia’s research community, including scientists, fellows, NCRIS capability peers and government representatives, through to global imaging networks and partners.

The successful applicant will work closely with NIF’s node directors and operations managers to collaboratively develop and enable strategic initiatives.

The ideal candidate will have experience managing financial and legal operations, and working within collaborative, multi-institutional structures to manage and deliver reporting and governance documentation.

The NIF COO will be responsible for the organisation’s strategic management and planning, as well as operational management, including financial, legal and human resources, including:

  • Developing and delivering a national operational structure across 13 nodes located in five states, in alignment with the NIF vision and mission.
  • Develop, implement and evaluate strategic and operational activity plans for NIF
  • Work closely with stakeholders at an Executive University level (PVC, DVC), Commonwealth Government, and State Governments.
  • Lead operational management including risk, human resources, financial and legal matters
  • Negotiate and maintain key strategic partnerships with internal and external stakeholders, at an executive level.
  • Lead the development and implementation of efficient management structures, policies and procedures to enhance and support the vision of the national capability.
  • Manage an annual operating budget (up to $15M pa), in addition to $50M+ five-year capital budget and national investment plans.
  • Lead the consultations, negotiations and implementation of legal agreements with Partner organisations, Commonwealth Government and other funding partners.
  • Meet compliance requirements for the Commonwealth and State Governments, including milestone reporting, operational plan, risk management plan, and compliance with governmental and multi-institutional agreements.

NIF 2022 User Experience Survey now open

The National Imaging Facility (NIF) 2022 User Experience Survey is now open and will run for two weeks (22 Aug – 5 Sept 2022).

The survey is open to all users of NIF capabilities, including preclinical and clinical, human and animal imaging, radiochemistry, and imaging data analysis, and only takes 5-10 minutes to complete.

Information collected from this survey is used to communicate the value of NIF capabilities to our stakeholders and is critical to justifying continued investment in NIF.

We appreciate your time and advice. All survey responses are anonymous, and your feedback will be used to inform and improve NIF’s service delivery.

On completion of the survey, you will have the option to enter the draw to win one of three $100 gift cards. Please note, to protect your anonymity the contact information received to enter the draw will not be analysed together with your survey responses.

For more information, contact

Inaugural NIF Scientific Symposium kicks off #NationalScienceWeek

Leading researchers, clinicians and industry attended the inaugural National Imaging Facility (NIF) Scientific Symposium on 12 August.

The event kicked off National Science Week for NIF, highlighting the critical role of collaboration in translating research challenges to benefit industry and keep Australians healthy, with the theme ‘National partnerships for innovation and impact’.

NIF CEO Prof Wojtek Goscinski said the Symposium was an excellent opportunity to highlight ground-breaking work from Australia’s world-class imaging community.

“It was a privilege to host experts from across Australia, including keynote speakers Prof Graeme Jackson, Prof Louise Emmet and Prof Gemma Figtree, whose work is at the leading edge of imaging globally,” Prof Goscinski said.

“I’d also like to extend my thanks to the presenters who delivered an excellent Technology Showcase session, and Health and Medical Translational Challenges session.

“A particular highlight was hearing from our industry partners, including Telix Pharmaceuticals, Clarity Pharmaceuticals, Cochlear and Nyrada, who discussed the way they engage with national imaging research infrastructure.

“NIF is privileged to have a strong network of world-leading expertise at our fingertips and it was an honour to bring some of these people together to present their work and share ideas at the 2022 Symposium,” he said.

Keynote presentations of the Symposium included:

  • ‘The Australian Epilepsy Project’, Prof Graeme Jackson
  • From mouse to Medicare: the PSMA story in Australia’, Prof Louise Emmett
  • Coronary artery imaging to inform the next Frontier of heart attack prevention’, Prof Gemma Figtree

The Technology Showcase session highlighted NIF’s latest capabilities, including tools for processing and interpreting data, and applications of imaging to solve complex problems, including:

  • ‘Ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging’, Prof Leigh Johnston and Prof Markus Barth
  • ‘Bringing imaging to rural Australia with a national network of low field mobile MR scanners’, Dr Zhaolin Chen
  • ‘Australian Imaging Service: The national platform for trusted data management and analysis’, Dr Ryan Sullivan
  • ‘Magnetic Particle Imaging’, Dr Andre Bongers
  • An insight into MicroCT imaging: recent advances, applications and impact on research and innovation’, Ms Diana Patalwala
  • Preclinical Research: The Crucial Step in Medical Advancements’, Dr Chris Christou

The Health and Medical Translation Challenges session provided an opportunity for attendees to hear from clinicians and researchers about their journey to making translational impact, including:

  • Neuroimaging in clinical trials: Perspectives of a clinician-researcher’, A/Prof Sylvia Gustin
  • The Australasian Radiopharmaceutical Trials network (ARTnet)’, A/Prof Ros Francis

The Industry Discussion Panel opened up conversation on how imaging accelerates and underpins innovation and future opportunities, with speakers:

  • Dr David Cade, Chief Executive Officer, Telix Pharmaceuticals Asia Pacific
  • Dr Matt Harris, Chief Scientific Officer, Clarity Pharmaceuticals
  • Dr Zachary Smith, Director, Algorithms and Applications, Cochlear
  • Dr Jasneet Parmar, Neuroscience Researcher, Nyrada Inc

World-first: Cancer Council supports Western Sydney Uni’s AI enhanced cancer research

[Pictured above: Dr Tim Stait-Gardner, Dr Trang Pham (UNSW/Liverpool Hospital), Professor Bill Price and Dr Abhishek Gupta]

Cancer Council NSW has awarded a grant for over $430K to Western Sydney University researchers and an expert multi-institutional team to investigate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy for people living with cancer.

The world-first study will support the MRI-Linac, a next-gen radiotherapy technology developed by the NSW-based Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, combining an MRI scanner and a radiotherapy linear accelerator (Linac) into one integrated system.

In typical radiotherapy treatment, still images of the patient and their cancerous tumour taken prior to treatment are used to help plan and guide the direction of the radiation beam, but this radiation process can also damage normal tissues that are subjected to the radiation beam during treatment.

The MRI-Linac combines the technology of a Linear Accelerator and an MRI scanner, which can display real-time images enabling the monitoring of movement in tumour locations caused by normal functions like breathing or swallowing during treatment. The MRI-Linac can pinpoint parts within the tumour that are most active and aggressive, so a higher dose of radiation can be delivered to those areas.

In this study, MRI will be used to characterise cancer heterogeneity (differences among tumours and cancer cells), which can lead to cancer recurrence.

The multi-institutional research team is led by NIF Node Director Prof Bill Price and includes NIF Facility Fellow, Dr Tim Stait-Gardner and Research Fellow, Dr Abhishek Gupta from Western Sydney University; Dr Trang Pham, A/Prof Lois Holloway and Prof Erik Meijering from UNSW, as well as Prof Daniel Moses from the Prince of Wales Hospital. The research team also includes members from the Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research, Auckland Bioengineering Institute and the University of Queensland.

The team will use ultra-high-strength MRI scanners to produce microscopic resolution images of tumour samples. These highly detailed images will allow them to characterise the biological differences between tumours.

The team will then use deep learning, a specialised form of AI, to transfer this knowledge into clinical MRI scanners to enhance the resolution of imagery in MRI-Linac.

Prof Price said the research will allow clinicians to better predict the effectiveness of treatment and enable personalised care, with half of all cancer patients requiring radiotherapy.

“Radiotherapy is an important part of treatment for many cancer patients, however, in current practice it offers little capacity for personalised care,” Prof Price said.

“We have identified an opportunity to further enhance treatment by considering biological characteristics of an individual’s tumour with the help of AI.”

Prof Price said the implementation of this new enhanced imaging technology along with the precision of the MRI-Linac has the potential to greatly improve treatment outcomes and patient survival rates.

The study, ‘Targeting cancer heterogeneity with ultrahigh field MRI and radiotherapy using deep learning’, will be a collaboration between Western Sydney University, UNSW, Liverpool Hospital, Prince of Wales Hospital, Ingham Institute, University of Queensland, and Auckland Bioengineering Institute.

For more information on this study, contact NIF Node Director, Prof Bill Price.

Read Western Sydney University’s media release here.

Announcement: New appointments to NIF Governance Board

The National Imaging Facility (NIF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Prof Karen Reynolds and Dr Chien Ho to the NIF Governance Board.

The independent Governance Board provides oversight and strategic guidance for all NIF activities and investments, supporting NIF’s mission to make unparalleled imaging capabilities accessible to Australian researchers.

Prof Reynolds is the Director of the Medical Device Research Institute at Flinders University in South Australia and brings expertise in effectively engaging with government, clinicians and industry.

Dr Ho is a consultant radiologist bringing expertise across the commercial, healthcare technology and clinical domains.

NIF Governance Board Chair, Prof Margaret Harding welcomed the newest members and congratulated them on their appointment.

“Prof Reynolds and Dr Ho bring a diverse range of skills and interests which will support the work of the Board and help to shape the future strategic direction for NIF,” Prof Harding said.

Prof Reynolds and Dr Ho will replace Prof Carolyn Mountford and Dr Thomas Barlow who have completed their three-year terms of appointment.

Prof Joe Shapter will also leave the Board as the representative of the University of Queensland with his retirement as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Infrastructure) on 30 June. He will be replaced by A/Prof Kevin Jack, who will act as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor while recruitment is undertaken.

Prof Harding warmly acknowledged the contributions of Prof Mountford, Dr Barlow and Prof Shapter.

“All three departing members have brought a diversity of views and insights to Board discussions, and I offer my thanks to Carolyn, Thomas and Joe for their contributions as foundational members of NIF’s independent Governance Board,” Prof Harding said.

“Their expertise, time and support have been invaluable to NIF, particularly throughout the development of its new strategy, the coordination of its governance restructure, and strategic direction.”

“The advice and guidance of our outgoing members has positioned NIF for success in years to come,” she said.

Read more about NIF’s independent Governance Board here.

Our new Governance Board Members

Professor Karen Reynolds

Professor Karen Reynolds is Director of the Medical Device Research Institute at Flinders University in South Australia.  As one of Australia’s leading researchers in biomedical engineering, Karen is passionate about bridging the divide between research and industry.

In 2008, she founded the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) Ideas Incubator, a program designed to facilitate early-stage innovation and collaborations across the medtech sector. Fourteen years later, this award-winning program continues to support early-stage innovation in the medtech sector.

Karen has a number of external roles including as member of the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Advisory Committee on Medical Devices, and until last year, a member of the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academies of Technology and Engineering and of Health and Medical Sciences, and is an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia.

Dr Chien Ho

Dr Chien Ho is an experienced Board Director and Clinical Radiologist with particular interests in clinical and corporate governance, digital health and strategic planning. He has previously been a Board member of Integral Diagnostics and a Director of Lake Imaging. He is a GAICD, Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) and holds a MBBS (Hons.).

Dr Ho has held senior clinical leadership roles including Chair and member of both the Integral and Victorian Clinical Leadership Committees. He is also a member of the RANZCR Digital Health Working Group and is actively involved with Radiology Across Borders.

Upon completion of his radiology training at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, he undertook advanced training in London, primarily at University College Hospital where he completed an MRI/musculoskeletal fellowship. He works as a radiologist for Lake Imaging with subspecialty interests in musculoskeletal imaging, body MRI (including prostate) and Cardiac CT. 

Associate Professor Kevin Jack

Associate Professor Kevin Jack is the Director Research Infrastructure (RI) at The University of Queensland (UQ) and is currently Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Infrastructure) PVC(RI). He has over 25 years of experience in operations, management and leadership of advanced analytical methods and facilities at UQ and Bristol University. He is a physical chemist and his main research interests are in the nano- and molecular-scale characterisation of materials to better understand the relationships between structure, properties, and performance.

Because Seeing Changes Everything: Placing Australian imaging at the global forefront

Today the National Imaging Facility (NIF) released Because Seeing Changes Everything, its roadmap for Australian imaging.

NIF is Australia’s advanced imaging network, providing open access to flagship imaging equipment, expertise, tools, data and analysis. NIF enables a full suite of advanced imaging capability including preclinical and clinical, human and animal imaging, and radiochemistry.

Because Seeing Changes Everything provides a plan to enable Australian researchers to unlock solutions to major health, agriculture and materials challenges.

NIF Governing Board Chair, Professor Margaret Harding said Because Seeing Changes Everything demonstrates the way NIF contributes to Australian wellbeing, and outlines NIF’s future priorities, which deliver to the Australian Government’s 2021 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap.

“NIF’s imaging infrastructure, data and leading expertise support Australian research and innovation to help improve our standard of living and strengthen our economic standing,” Prof Harding said.

“Scientists, clinicians and professionals from a range of industries across Australia use NIF capabilities to unlock solutions to their research questions.”

NIF has identified impacts where imaging plays a key role, and will prioritise investments that address these areas:

  • Better evidence for decision-making in health
  • New diagnostics and therapies combined
  • Better health for the young and older Australians
  • Equitable regional and rural health
  • Growing use of imaging in agriculture and ecology 
  • Critical contributions to materials, engineering and culture

NIF Chief Executive Officer, Professor Wojtek Goscinski said Because Seeing Changes Everything outlines NIF’s roadmap supporting innovation and ensuring Australia’s world-class imaging capability remains at the global forefront.

“NIF will deliver to the priorities outlined in the 2021 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, helping Australians to apply state-of-the-art imaging to address emerging challenges,” Prof Goscinski said.

“Our expertise and infrastructure will ensure Australia is at the cutting-edge of advanced imaging, now and into the future as we continue to meet the evolving needs of modern research.”

The document highlights some of the future capabilities NIF is planning to expand, including:

  • Accelerating next-generation imaging technologies
  • Furthering critical magnetic resonance technology
  • Translating portable biomagnetic imaging
  • Pioneering full-colour x-ray scanners
  • Applying new-generation ultrasound for treatments and diagnostic techniques
  • Advancing molecular imaging to visualise whole-body processes


You can read Because Seeing Changes Everything here.

NIF Molecular Imaging and Radiochemistry Showcase to be presented at ANZSNM

National Imaging Facility enables access to imaging capabilities across the country and will present a Molecular Imaging and Radiochemistry Showcase at ANZSNM 2022, featuring presentations from a range of research leaders from Australia’s advanced imaging network.

See the full ANZSNM program here.

Register to attend ANZSNM 2022.

National Imaging Facility: Molecular Imaging and Radiochemistry Showcase
Saturday 14 May 2022, 3:15pm – 4:15pm
Session Chair: Prof Wojtek Goscinski, CEO National Imaging Facility

3:15 – 3:20Professor Wojtek Goscinski

Chief Executive Officer
National Imaging Facility

Introduction to NIF Molecular Imaging and
Radiochemistry Showcase

3:20 – 3:30Professor Steven Meikle

Head of the Imaging Physics Laboratory, Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney

Total Body PET
3:30 – 3:40Associate Professor Roslyn Francis

Head of Department of Nuclear Medicine and WA PET Service, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, University of Western Australia

Radiochemistry activities in Western Australia
3:40 – 3:50Professor Gary Egan

Professor and Foundation Director, Monash Biomedical Imaging

Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function

Australian Precision Medicine Enterprise
3:50 – 4:00Prof Kristofer Thurecht

Acting Deputy Director (Research Technologies) and Group Leader – Principal Research Fellow,

Centre for Advanced Imaging, University of Queensland

Affiliate Principal Research Fellow and Group Leader,

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

Alpha therapies and activities
4:00 – 4:10Dr John Bennett

Research Infrastructure Platform Leader – Biosciences,

ANSTO’s new NIF Alpha Radioisotopes and
Radiopharmaceuticals Facility

World class imaging expertise empowers a sight for (dino)saur eyes

ICYMI, Horridus, the world’s most complete and finely preserved Triceratops was unveiled to the public (for the first time in 67 million years) last month at Melbourne Museum, as part of their new exhibition, Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs.

Advanced Imaging experts from Monash Biomedical Imaging (MBI) and the National Imaging Facility (NIF) worked with Melbourne Museum to create a digital record of Horridus and further examine how the dinosaur would have walked the earth back-in-the-day for the exhibition’s immersive digital experience.

Longstanding research collaborations exist between the Melbourne Museum palaeontology team and the Biomedicine Discovery Institute and School of Biological Sciences at Monash University, with MBI facilitating imaging of many important fossil specimens for collaborative scientific study, teaching and outreach.

Imaging is critical to a broad variety of research problems including environmental and ecosystems research, palaeontology and preservation. The National Imaging Facility (NIF) makes cutting edge imaging capabilities accessible to Australian researchers and companies, and NIF’s world-class network of Fellows provides expertise in processing and interpreting imaging data and applying imaging to solve complex challenges.

As the CT scanner can penetrate plastic and foam, the team were able to keep the bones in their protective stillages during scanning

Why make a digital record of Horridus?

As the most complete real dinosaur fossil in any Australasian Museum, Horridus was scanned in MBI’s large bore Siemens CT scanner before it was assembled for display, to enable further study of the Triceratops by the global scientific community.

The imaging of rare and high-value specimens such as Horridus allows the preservation of information from fragile objects, in addition to the non-destructive exploration of the interior of specimens.

Monash University PhD student Hazel Richards conducted the scans and created 3D models of the Triceratops bones for the exhibition as part of her role as research assistant on the project.

“When we combine the internal images produced by these CT scans with the external surface scan images, we can create a complete 3D model of the Triceratops bones that allows us to research a range of exciting biological and evolutionary questions,” Ms Richards said.

“The team at MBI are always enthused and accommodating when we come to them with proposals for scanning weird and often unwieldy objects like these Triceratops fossils.”

“With their support and expertise, we have been able to maximise the scientific potential of these remarkable pieces of natural history,” Ms Richards said.

Monash University PhD student Hazel Richards conducted the scans and created 3D models of the Triceratops bones for the exhibition as part of her role as research assistant on the project.

Applying imaging expertise to solve challenges

NIF Facility Fellow, and MBI’s Head of Pre-Clinical Imaging, Dr Michael de Veer worked with Ms Richards to provide training and operational guidance on the optimal use of the instrument to generate the data.

“Fossilised bone is very dense, so our scanning challenge was to manipulate the CT settings so that the X-rays would penetrate the bones, allowing visualisation of internal structures such as the dinosaur’s brain case,” Dr de Veer said.

“Different parts of the dinosaur fossil were scanned over a number of visits, and the bones were transported in special crates to reduce the possibility of damage.

“As the CT scanner can penetrate plastic and foam, we were able to keep the bones in their protective stillages during scanning, a capability that made Museums Victoria palaeontologist Tim Ziegler very happy” Dr de Veer said.

As Collection Manager Vertebrate Palaeontology, Tim Ziegler manages the preservation of Victoria’s fossil collections of backboned animals, plants, and microfossils, including dinosaurs.

“Fossils are surprisingly fragile once they are uncovered and brought out of the ground,” Mr Ziegler said.

“We take any opportunity to improve the safety of specimens under research. As part of Victoria’s State Collection, this skeleton will be kept and preserved in perpetuity, and will offer scientific potential for years to come.”

Museums Victoria palaeontologist Tim Ziegler, Monash University PhD student Hazel Richards and NIF Facility Fellow, and MBI’s Head of Pre-Clinical Imaging, Dr Michael de Veer. 

What can a CT tell us about life 67 million years ago?

Visitors to the Triceratops exhibition will see the CT data captured first-hand – both virtually –through animated projections from the scans, and physically – as life-size touchable resin casts made from the 3D printed models.

This information can be used to tell deeper stories about Triceratops, including its evolution, behaviour and how it sensed its Cretaceous world.

The data of the upper and lower jaws reveal Horridus had more than 800 teeth. These CT scans can contribute to investigations of feeding biomechanics and diet in Triceratops and other highly specialised herbivorous dinosaurs.  

Scans of the dinosaur’s well-preserved braincase provided 3D models of the internal cranial cavity, allowing the team to examine the size and shape of regions of the brain and inner ear.

These provide important data for research reconstructing what sorts of sounds Triceratops was adapted to hear, and the relative importance of vision, smell and hearing in the daily lives of these long-extinct beasts.

The data of the upper and lower jaws reveal Horridus had more than 800 teeth. These CT scans can contribute to investigations of feeding biomechanics and diet in Triceratops and other highly specialised herbivorous dinosaurs. Image copyright Museums Victoria.

Say hi to Horridus

You can visit Horridus in the flesh (er.. bones?) at Melbourne Museum’s exhibition, Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs.

View Horridus in 3D here.

For more information, contact Dr Michael de Veer, Head of Pre-Clinical Imaging and NIF Facility Fellow.

Images courtesy of Museums Victoria and Monash Biomedical Imaging.

NIF’s newest capability: Medical industry, manufacturers, and museums set to benefit from WA’s first high-power research-dedicated CT scanner

National Imaging Facility’s (NIF) University of Western Australia (UWA) node located at the Centre for Microscopy Characterisation and Analysis (CMCA) will grow its capacity with the arrival of a new computed tomography (CT) scanner to expand capabilities for industry, manufacturing and museums who require imaging of large samples.

The Nikon XT H 225 ST will increase NIF’s scope to cater for specimens that require a large field of view, including medical implants, additive manufacturing and industrial components, and environmental or historical artefacts.

Research applications of the new CT scanner will extend from medical material testing, industrial material including castings, turbine blades, plastics, packaging, dispensers, to precious palaeontology and archaeology articles.

Diana Patalwala, NIF’s Facility Fellow at UWA’s CMCA said the CT will enable engagement with the biomedical, agriculture, environmental, renewable resource, advanced manufacturing, electronics and defence industries.

“Our new CT capabilities will have increased applications in pre-clinical and clinical research involving medical prosthesis, dental implants, critical assemblies of medical devices and drug delivery systems,” she said.

“It is vital for components such as patient-specific medical implants manufactured through additive manufacturing technologies to be of outstanding quality, and an X-Ray CT can play an important role in this process from start to end.”

Other medical applications include verifying the dimensions of drug delivery systems’ inhaler chambers or dispenser mechanisms, syringes, stents, pacemakers and more.

“Industry will greatly benefit from the Nikon XT H 225 ST as it is the only CT technology of its kind to provide a 225kV (450W) rotating target X-ray source, this means we can image larger and denser samples with increased accuracy than previously possible,” Ms Patalwala said.  

“This makes it ideal for industry users involved in materials testing, inspection and quality control applications.

“This CT scanner would also be ideal for examining archaeological samples, museum specimens and fossils as well, enabling us to get the detailed inside picture without destroying these precious artefacts!” Ms Patalwala said.

With an X-ray source as powerful as 225kV/450W, it is the only high-power research-dedicated CT system in WA.

The unique and versatile scanner can examine specimens ranging in size from small rock cores, which are important for minimising the risk associated with the planned drilling operations in mining and increase the probability of meeting the target yield, to large industrial manufacturing components, such as casting moulds parts, batteries, fuel cells and electronic circuits.

The Nikon XT H 225 ST has an impressive maximum field of view (35cm x 35cm x 35cm), a sample height that can accommodate up to 65cm and a sample weight of 50kg – which will allow for greater capacity in imaging larger samples.

Its large field-of-view, makes it capable of CT scanning the internal tomography of an object non-destructively

The CT uses multiple axial scans to generate cross-sectional information or three-dimensional reconstructions. The X-ray CT has the typical mechanism for taking ‘slices’ which are then digitally reconstructed into 3D volumes.

The Nikon CT has an extremely high-powered X-ray source (450W) for penetrating geological, marine and industrial objects as well as the capability of producing lower energy X-rays (20W) for bio-medical applications.

With resolutions down to the 10um range, academia and industry will have access to 2D cross-sectional slices and 3D volume rendered models, as well as access to advanced quantitative analysis software packages capable of characterising material properties involving cracks, pores, and fibres – just to name a few.

The new Nikon XT H 225 ST CT scanner was delivered at the end of March, with installation commencing from April, and a view to opening to users in May.

This instrument has been funded by National Imaging Facility, enabled by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, with the Government of Western Australia and supporters of the Western Australia National Imaging Facility.

For further information about the instrument, contact NIF Facility Fellow, Diana Patalwala

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