MARS Technical

MARS Imaging System

The team at MARS Bioimaging developed the MARS Imaging System for quantitative color imaging for use in research and medicine. The MARS Imaging System incorporates 15 years of research and development into spectral photon-counting CT, several patents and MARS owned IP, and the Medipix detector developed at CERN. The two main principles underpinning the MARS Imaging System are detection and analysis. 

Detection, or gathering spectral data, can be thought of as the ‘easy’ step, while analysing and utilizing that data is the ‘hard’ step. The MARS team have produced advanced, patented software for processing spectral x-ray data. Scroll down to learn more about these topics.

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Our clinical focus

Our Technical Focus


Detection is an integral element of any imaging system 

The Medipix detector chip has been in development since the 1970s. First used for particle experiments at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), it quickly became apparent that this technology could be applied to medical x-ray imaging. 

The Medipix uses very small pixels and a very clever scheme to correctly measure the energy and position of each x-ray photon, which provides much higher spatial and energy resolution compared to standard clinical CT systems. 

Using the MARS Imaging System, you will collect 10x more information than standard CT, and produce up to eight different material maps. Our system is energy resolving, rather than energy-integrating. 


Advanced algorithms developed over 15 years

Our powerful imaging chain consists of two steps. Step one is an iterative algebraic reconstruction algorithm. Step two is a material decomposition algorithm that produces material maps from energy resolved attenuation data.

Analyzing an object’s attenuation properties across the x-ray energy spectrum allows us to distinguish between different types of tissues within the body. We can also estimate material quantities per-voxel, such as the calcium content of bones.

Our current focus is using artificial intelligence to better perform material analysis. We are also looking at how this software can be used in the clinic to assist with diagnosis and ultimately patient health outcomes. 

Our Partner’s Achievements

Medipix4 is the next generation of world-leading photon counting detectors

The Medipix4 Collaboration was launched in 2016 with the aim to design pixel read-out chips that, for the first time, are fully prepared for through-silicon-via (TSV) processing. TSV technology enables larger detector arrays to be constructed seamlessly, as all communication with the pixel matrix happens through the rear of the chip rather than one side of the chip. In addition, the peripheral logic and control elements will be integrated inside the pixel matrix.

Two new chips are foreseen: Medipix4, which targets imaging speeds comparable to current standard CT scans, and Timepix4, which will provide particle identification and tracking with higher spatial and timing precision.