Lee Receives DoD Trauma Care Award for Applying CNT X-ray CT to Battlefield Head Trauma Imaging

In this study, Yueh Lee, MD, PhD, and collaborators address neuroimaging shortcomings at multi-national military airfield Role 3 hospitals, all of which lack CT scanner capability, to prevent unnecessary transport to CT-equipped Role 4 facilities.

Lee Receives DoD Trauma Care Award for Applying CNT X-ray CT to Battlefield Head Trauma Imaging click to enlarge Yueh Lee, MD, PhD

Yueh Lee, MD, PhD, has received a collaborative three-year Department of Defense (DOD) Defense Medical Research and Development Program Precision Trauma Care Research Award ($1.27M+/year), renewed annually, in September 2018 for a project entitled, “Development and Evaluation of a Solid State Head CT.” UNC co-collaborators on the development of the system include Otto Zhou, PhD, and Jianping Lu, PhD (Department of Physics and Astronomy); Donglin Zeng, PhD (Department of Biostatistics); and Deanna Sasaki-Adams, MD (Department of Neurosurgery). Dr. Sean Montgomery (formerly of UNC Department of Surgery) of Duke University’s Division of Trauma and Critical Care Surgery is also a system development project collaborator.

In this study, Lee and collaborators address neuroimaging shortcomings at multi-national military airfield Role 3 hospitals, all of which lack CT scanner capability, to prevent unnecessary transport to CT-equipped Role 4 facilities. The research team seeks to upfit Role 3 hospitals with improved neuroimaging technology to comply with Joint Trauma System (JTS) Clinical Practice Guide (CPG) dictates that all moderate to severe head injuries receive a head CT.

Lee’s team has developed a carbon nanotube (CNT) linear x-ray source array seeking to yield a solid-state, no-rotation x-ray CT system via conducting geometry-optimizing simulation studies for maximizing coverage and simplifying construction. With precise x-ray pulse control, close physical placement of multiple x-ray sources, and no rotational motion of components, this study’s goal is to develop CNT X-ray CT technology ideal for head trauma imaging in the battlefield. Lee and collaborators seek to advance defense medical research centered around traumatic brain injury (TBI) through bringing neuroimaging configurations for significantly earlier diagnosis and appropriate triage of soldiers who experience TBI in the battlefield.

Lee noted: “This work represents a continuation of the clinical translation of the novel x-ray source invented at UNC, and the first for military applications. Other studies involving Department faculty are also ongoing in the areas of breast imaging [Lead: Dr. Cherie Kuzmiak], chest imaging [Lead: Dr. Ertan Pamkular], orthopedic imaging [Co-leads: Drs. Daniel Nissman, Troy Maetani and Ben Smith].”

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