Lab Research

Our R&D Story

Following more than a decade of research and development, MARS Bioimaging has established a highly experienced team with diverse knowledge and expertise. MARS has been successful, due in part to collaborations with organizations across the globe. To name a few: University of Canterbury, University of Auckland, Lincoln University, The Medipix3 Collaboration, The European Organization of Nuclear Research (CERN), Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), University of Maryland, University of Pennsylvania, Oregon Health and Science University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.   

MARS Bioimaging is open to new research collaborations. If you want to take part in helping develop this pioneering medical imaging technology, reach out to us. We are interested in groups that perform preclinical (and clinical) studies with a focus on molecular imaging of heart disease (atherosclerosis), oncology, infectious disease, nanoparticles, and orthopedics (bone and joints). Please email for more information.  

Our clinical focus

Our Research Focus


Visualizing leaky blood vessels in solid tumors 

It is well known that scaphoid fractures are a common and challenging orthopaedic 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


Material characterization has never been this clear

The above image shows a 25 mm strip of excised osteoarthritis human tibial plateau incubated in 50% ionic iodine contrast and imaged using the MARS Microlab 5×120 research scanner.

Standard ionic iodine contrast can be identified and quantified within articular cartilage to distinguish it from bone. Iodine is used as a marker of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content, and is a common technique used in contrast-enhanced MRI imaging. 

Our Partner’s Achievements

Develop novel nanoparticles therapies with spectral imaging

Providing the right therapy at the right time often depends on early identification of an issue. This is certainly true in the case of bone microfractures, which could lead to larger fractures if left untreated. Conventional CT imaging struggles to visualize bone microfractures due to the strong self attenuation of photons from bone and poor spatial resolution. 

Researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign looked at how our preclinical MARS Imaging System could visualize bone microdamage using their novel ligand directed hafnia nanoparticles. 

Personalize medical care by differentiating crystal type in the joint

Crystal arthropathies are problematic joint space disorders that are common in the ageing population. They involve the formation of different types of crystals in the joint. It is clinically important to reach an early and specific diagnosis and yet it is challenging to distinguish between the crystal types using current techniques. MARS offers a non-invasive solution which is accessible at point of care

Researchers from the University of Otago, Lausanne University Hospital (Switzerland), University of Canterbury, and Ara Institute of Canterbury used our preclinical MARS Imaging System to determine whether spectral photon-counting CT could detect and differentiate between monosodium urate (MSU), calcium pyrophosphate (CPP), and hydroxyapatite (HA) crystal deposits ex vivo.