DeskCAT is a portable, optical CT scanner for interactive teaching of imaging principles without the use of ionizing radiation. Computed Tomography (CT) is one of the most widely used diagnostic imaging tools in medicine. The traditional method of teaching the principles of CT involves classroom lectures, followed by demonstrations on a clinical system that is not easily accessed or manipulated for educational purposes. This team has developed a scaled-down compact imaging system suitable for an interactive classroom or laboratory session ( The system uses light rays in lieu of x-rays, and hence experiments can be conducted while posing no high-voltage or radiation hazards to the instructor or students.

DeskCAT – Inverse Cone-Beam Optical Scanner

The table-top device comes with a “kit” of experimental test objects (phantoms), “ready-to-go” lab procedures, and custom software to demonstrate radiography and CT imaging. Image quality can be characterized by measurements of spatial resolution, contrast resolution, and attenuation coefficients using transparent specimens in small jars (7.2 cm diameter x 5.3 cm long). This low-cost system (approximately $11,000) is expected to enrich the student’s learning experience and improve the absorption and retention of fundamental imaging concepts. This learning package should prove attractive to universities with Physics, Biophysics, or Biomedical Engineering Departments, as well as Medical Schools with residency training programs (Radiology, Nuclear Medicine).

Jerry Battista, PhD
Linada Kaci
Kevin Jordan, PhD
John Miller (Modus Medical Devices Inc.)