MARS Clinical

Our Clinical Story

Since 2019, MARS have been conducting human clinical trials for orthopaedic and cardiovascular applications through collaboration with the University of Canterbury, University of Otago and Canterbury DHB. We are excited to announce that we have now expanded our clinical trials into the local acute care clinic through a partnership with New Zealand’s largest Radiology provider. The orthopaedic trials to date have shown that we are able to provide high-resolution imaging of patients in the acute, follow-up, pre-surgical and post-surgical stages.   

We are looking forward to our European partners conducting clinical trials in the near future to extend pre-clinical research for clinical rheumatology applications.  

If you would like to request sample datasets or be involved with pioneering imaging tech, please email     

Our clinical focus

Our Clinical Focus


Advanced imaging for suspected wrist fractures where and when you need it 

It is well known that scaphoid fractures are a common and challenging orthopedic issue that has the potential to become chronic and debilitating. 

The clinical management pathway involves immobilisation and repeat plain radiographs, MRI or cone-beam CT and multiple visits to the imaging department. This pathway is costly in many ways, both for the patient and for the funding provider. 

The MARS Imaging System is compact and shielded for safe, point-of-care patient imaging. Perform low-dose, high-resolution scans that are capable of scaphoid and other carpal bone fractures to be confirmed or ruled out at first presentation


“Risk factors” redundant with non-invasive material characterization of atherosclerotic plaque

Plaque formation in our blood vessels is a normal part of aging. However, when a plaque becomes so large that it disrupts normal blood flow, atherosclerotic disease occurs, which has the potential to lead to ischemic heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death worldwide.

The different components or materials making up a plaque, such as iron and calcium, indicate its vulnerability to rupture (and cause stroke or death). Currently, the decision to move to surgical management is determined by risk factors, such as family history and smoking.

Using the spectral nature of MARS Imaging, you can characterize plaque composition to assist in the diagnostic and interventional decision making process. 

Our Partner’s Achievements

Looking at knee implants in a whole new way

Chinese University of Hong Kong researchers used our small-bore MARS research scanner to image failed knee arthroplasty implants. Researcher Dr Laurence Lau said the MARS CT allowed them to ‘demonstrate polyethylene and tibial tray wear of a failed total knee arthroplasty (TKA) when pre-revision radiographs, ultrasound, and MRI of the same TKA could not identify the wear’.

Osteoarthritis is the single most common cause of disability in elderly patients. The most common site is the knee. When conservative efforts fail, effective treatment comes in the form of a total knee arthroplasty (TKA) or knee replacement. Despite it’s frequent use, TKA is associated with suboptimal results in 20% of patients. These patients suffer from plain and functional limitations. Establishing why the implant is failing is crucial for appropriate management. 

Read the full study published in Scientific Reports (10 min read).  

Introduction of new cost-effective contrast agents: use your own cells to identify disease

In this study, monocyte-like and macrophage-like cells were incubated with gold labelled LDL and iodinated LDL and then visualized using the MARS Imaging System. 

Monocytes and macrophages are identified as key targets in the early stages of atherosclerosis. These cells readily take up low density lipoproteins (LDL). Functional nanoparticle complexes made up of LDL and a high atomic element, such as iodine or gold, can be used as a cost-effective, targeted contrast agent in spectral photon-counting CT imaging.