A finger-mounted flexible, personal radiation dosimeter. (Credit: University of Surrey)

Researchers have created a device that conforms to the subject that could be possible for breast cancer screenings to be carried out by adapting the x-ray detector arrays to the specification of different patients. The could lead to mammogram machines tailor-made to individual patients.

Detectors that are presently used for mammograms and for dose measurements in radiotherapy are often rigid, causing errors in screening, or dose delivery to surrounding healthy tissue.

They developed an x-ray detector by embedding oxide nanoparticles in a bulk organic structure that allows for large area detectors to be cheaply produced inexpensively. The detectors achieve high sensitivity levels that strongly compete with current technologies, while still operating at low voltages, as well as over the whole x-ray energy range spectrum.

A new start-up company has been formed to further develop this technology and bring it to market — looking specifically at the health, food monitoring, and pharmaceuticals sectors.