The Bioimaging Unit

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In August 1999 the University of Leicester Bioimaging Unit was established as part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and is located in the Space Research Centre. The unit acts as a focus for the exploitation of current instrumentation research for biological and medical use. Research is being carried out on High Resolution Gamma-ray Imaging, Digital Autoradiography, AlGaAs GaAs and Silicon Carbide Imaging Detectors 


Compound Semiconductor Detectors

We are currently investigating the compound semiconductor materials  AlGaAs and Silicon Carbide as X-ray detectors. These are in collaboration with the Avalanche Photodiode Group of the University of Sheffield (AlGaAs) and the Microelectronics Technology Research Group, Newcastle University (SiC) .

Mini Gamma-Ray Camera (MGRC)

The Mini Gamma-Ray Camera (MGRC) (left) is a collimated, scintillator-coated, low cost, high performance imager using low noise Charge Couple Devices (CCDs).The MGRC provides medical science with sub mm imaging of cancer tumours, Sentinel Lymph Nodes, Thyroid etc. for early and complete detection. More info....

Digital Autoradiography

Autoradiography image of brain sliceTrace 90 is a high resolution digital autoradiography system that has been developed for imaging radiolabelled samples. It is a fully automated system using a microchannel plate detector, can image all of the more common radiolabels including the difficult to detect isotope 3H (Tritium). Recent work has extended the capability to image high energy gamma emitters such as 99mTc (140kev). This image of a 3H labelled brain tissue slice was imaged as part of our work with the anaesthesia group at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. More Info.....


Disseminating our research is an important aim of the BioImaing Unit. Recently we have had an artist in residence - Andrew Williams  - funded by the Leverhulme Trust which culminated in a two day event called Trajectory

Using space technology, we are developing a portable gamma camera which can be taken to hospitals and to patients. The aim is to improve diagnosis of cancers, including breast and melanoma, which will help clinicians to offer the most appropriate treatment of the cancer at a much earlier stage.  

Bioimaging Unit,
Space Research Centre,
Department of Physics,
University of Leicester,
University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK.

Contact: Dr John Lees, +44 (0)116 252 5519,

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