MARS Microlab 5X120

High-resolution color CT imaging for preclinical research, complete with advanced imaging analysis tools

MARS Lab scanner
MARS Microlab 5X120

Every day, we discover new ways spectral CT could be used to better the lives of our colleagues and patients. With the most recent version of our laboratory scanner (pictured right), you will be able to simultaneously measure up to 8 energies at very high spatial resolution (50-200 µm) and with low noise.

This technology enables identification and quantification of various components of soft tissues, bones, cartilage, and exogenously administered contrast agents and pharmaceuticals in a single scan (up to six different materials simultaneously).

Our preclinical system is directly translatable to clinical human imaging as the same software, hardware, and visualization tools are used. Learn more about human imaging with MARS – MARS for clinicians.

Each MARS Microlab 5X120 is equipped with:

  • CZT-Medipix3RX detector with 110 µm pixel pitch, 8 energy bins per pixel
  • Up to 120 kVp, 350 µA x-ray source
  • Bore size of 120 mm allows scanning of specimens up to 450 mm length
  • Rotating gantry for helical scanning
  • Precision horizontal in vivo sample stage with provision for gas lines, monitoring inputs and temperature sensors
  • Powerful iterative reconstruction and processing algorithms quantify the concentration of elements and compounds in mg/mL
  • Visualization workstation and MARS software for image analysis


High spatial resolution material reconstruction and quantification

By using the energy information captured by a Medipix3RX detector chip, MARS spectral CT delivers the next generation of CT imaging, with identification and quantification of both intrinsic and extrinsic materials, from low contrast materials such as lipid and water to high contrast, including calcium, gadolinium and iodine.

Molecular imaging with histological level information

Using commercially available nanoparticle probes, MARS spectral CT provides histology level information about specific cell types within tissues, without the need for expensive radiotracers or low penetration fluorescent probes. The unique algorithm and processing of data allows the simultaneous detection and quantification of up to six materials.

Improved tissue characterization

Until now traditional CT offered poor differentiation of low contrast soft tissue, but with material quantification, MARS spectral CT delivers assessment of the lipid/water composition of soft tissue, with benefits to research in the areas of fatty liver disease, atherosclerosis, obesity and more. Spectral curves are used for CT “fingerprints” of tissues in question.

Reduced radiation 

As all the information is contained within the energy of the photon, and the distribution of photons, a high dose is not necessary to achieve a high quality image. The need for repeated scans is reduced. This also benefits researchers who are planning to do longitudinal studies, as repeating scanning at low dose of the same subject is possible.

3D volumetric visualization tool with magic lens

The magic lens tool in the MARS Vision (visualization software) workspace offers the ability to hide or show specific material channels for improved assessment. Information generated by MARS is stored in easily accessible DICOM format.

Easily translatable to clinical human imaging

The MARS Microlab 5X120 scanner operates in the human energy range (30 -120 keV) and the applications demonstrated are easily translated to human scale imaging.

Reduction of metal artefacts

The nature of spectral CT, and the use of photon counting and charge summing mode means that metal artefacts such as beam hardening can be removed during the reconstruction and material decomposition process.

Setting individualized scan protocols

MARS Microlab 5X120 is designed for a wide range of applications, hence users are given the flexibility to design or adapt protocols to optimize their scans for their needs and specific applications. This includes the ability to change energy window width, voxel size, source to detector distance and more.

Offers access to both pre-reconstructed and post reconstructed data

All MARS scanners come with its own proprietary reconstruction algorithm, but users are also able to access all raw data. This offers flexibility to users to apply their own image processing and reconstruction techniques if they wish.