Significantly improved quality of breast cancer diagnosis images by the novel technology
FUJIFILM achieves world’s smallest pixel pitch of 50µm*1 using amorphous selenium direct conversion method
Successful Development of “New Type X-Ray Detector” for Digital Mammography


April 3, 2008

  FUJIFILM Corporation (President and CEO: Shigetaka Komori) has succeeded in developing a novel direct conversion “New Type X-ray Detector” for future application to digital mammography (digital x-ray diagnosis system for breasts). It has achieved the world’s smallest pixel pitch of 50µm for amorphous selenium direct conversion method, utilizing FUJIFILM’s unique “device development technology” and “vacuum deposition technology.” It will significantly improve the quality of breast cancer diagnostic images by achieving both miniaturization of pixel pitch (high resolution) and a high S/N ratio*2.

<Characteristics of new elemental technology used in the development of the “New Type X-Ray Detector”>

1.  “Double layer amorphous selenium structure” and “Optical switching technology”
A double layer of amorphous selenium, which is a substance with high x-ray absorption efficiency, was created as the x-ray sensor. The x-ray is converted into electrical signals in the first layer and image electrical signals are efficiently read-out in the second layer, using an optical switch rather than an electrical switch. Through this, both miniaturization of pixel pitch (high resolution) and high S/N ratio are achieved.

2.  Highly pure amorphous selenium
By creating a highly pure accumulation layer of amorphous selenium, a high x-ray conversion rate is achieved. It also reduced the reset time*3 for the sensors when taking images continuously, leading to shortened cycle time to capture images.

By applying this “New Type X-ray Detector” to digital mammography, it is expected to reduce the amount of x-ray exposure,improve diagnostic performance, and capture images more efficiently. FUJIFILM will continue to advance practical application of the “New Type X-ray Detector” and the development of digital mammography products.

FUJIFILM became the global digital pioneer by introducing the “FCR” digital diagnostic x-ray image system for medical use in 1983 and succeeded in digitalizing medical images. It has made significant contributions to the streamlining of diagnostic imaging and to improving the quality of healthcare. In 2003, the “FCR PROFECT CS”*4, the high-definition scanning cassette type digital mammography system was introduced. The “FCR PROFECT CS” has already sold a total of 5,000 units globally and has gained solid trust and high praise from numerous healthcare institutions both from within Japan and abroad. In the future, FUJIFILM will add an integrated x-ray digital mammography product equipped with the New Type X-Ray Detector to its line-up and leverage each product’s strengths to meet the diverse needs of customers in order to help improve the quality of healthcare.

FUJIFILM is reinforcing its efforts in the focus business area of “Medical/Life Sciences Business” based on its Corporate Philosophy of “using leading-edge, proprietary technologies to help enhance the quality of life of people.” FUJIFILM will continue to provide the best solution that meets wide-ranging diagnostic imaging needs, help to improve healthcare quality and efficiency, promote healthier lives for people, and to further enhance quality of life.


*1.  Pixel pitch is the space between adjacent pixels. The smaller the number, the higher the image definition is. The “world’s smallest” is based on disclosed information as of the end of March 2008 for amorphous selenium direct conversion digital mammography (FUJIFILM survey).
*2.  Describes the ratio between image signal and noise. The higher this value, a clearer image with reduced noise is achieved.
*3.  The time required to erase the residual electrical charge in the sensor to prepare for the next shot after the x-ray is taken and the image electrical signal is read-out.
*4.  For use in mammography, the 50µm scanning high definition and bifacial convergent reading technology for x-ray imaging information recorded on the Imaging Plate (IP) effectuate 20pix/mm high definition. It is a digital x-ray imaging diagnostic system, which can clearly depict even small objects such as microcalcifications.


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