When you're learning how to use a complex device, there’s nothing like getting some hands on play time. When it comes to CT (Computed Tomography) scanners, however, it’s often difficult to find a time when they’re not being used on patients. That’s why two biophysics professors at Canada’s Western University invented the DeskCAT. It’s a miniature CT scanner that’s small enough to sit on a desk, so it can be used in medical school classrooms.

A traditional CT or CAT (Computed Axial Tomography) scanner is a room-sized system, that rotates a beam of X-rays around a given part of the patients’ body. The DeskCAT incorporates the same principle, creating a composite 3D image of a subject from multiple 2D “slices” of its interior.

Unlike a full-sized clinical scanner, however, it uses visible light instead of X-rays, and transparent models instead of human patients. Not only is this safer for students and instructors, but it also allows students to actually see the light passing through the models – by contrast, X-ray beams are invisible to the human eye.

The DeskCAT was created by Western’s Jerry Battista and Kevin Jordan. It is being manufactured and distributed by London, Ontario-based Modus Medical Devices.

More information is available in the video below.

Sources: Western University, DeskCAT