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May 05, 2021

Highlights: York Haemisch from Barcelona Techno Week Two

- By Jacqueline Wheeler

More insights from Dr York Haemisch, who reports back from Barcelona Techno 2021 Week Two.


Hybrid pixel detectors and their applications opened week two of Barcelona Techno. Dr Rafael Ballabriga introduced us to the technology and Dr Michael Campbell went on to discuss its applications. 

Rafael joined the CERN microelectronics group in 2004, working in the design and characterization of hybrid pixel detectors. In 2013 he received the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society Radiation Instrumentation Early Career Award. Rafael is a coach in the front-end design for CMOS technologies. He holds three patents and has authored or co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed journal publications. 

Michael Campbell is spokesman for the Medipix2, Medipix3 and Medipix4 collaborations. He is also leader of the Microelectronics section at CERN. He played an important role in the development of the first pixel detectors used in high energy physics, and in the development of the pixel detector readout chips currently used in the Alice and LHCb RICH detectors. Michael is an Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow. 

Keynote: Professor Katsuyuki Taguchi – Photon Counting CT 

I very much enjoyed a characteristically robust discussion with keynote speaker, Professor Katsuyuki Ken Taguchiauthor of Spectral, Photon Counting Computed Tomography: Technology and Applications.  

Later, the highlight of Professor Taguchi’s talk was, undoubtedly, his vision of a “molecular CT” where the benefits of photon counting CT are used to access and image specific properties of tissue by utilising the already existing technologies of biomarkers/nanoparticles. This would substantially increase patient access to more personalized diagnoses and treatments and, in conjunction with the dose reduction potential of photon counting CT, suggests that ahead of us, we can now see how this modality will provide more accurate treatment monitoring of many illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.  

Photon counting CT could become the ultimate enabler for a new era of targeted diagnosis and treatment. 

Katsuyuki Taguchi, Ph.D. is a Professor at the Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University. He worked for Toshiba Medical Systems from 1991 to 2005 and was involved in the development of several revolutionary CT systems such as multi-slice CT, cardiac CT, and four-dimensional CT. He joined Johns Hopkins in 2005 and has been working on motion-compensated cardiac imaging, photon counting spectral CT, and interventional X-ray imaging. He is interested in image reconstruction, modelling and compensation methods for physics and detectors, and created the photon counting toolkit (PcTK). 


Gabriel Blaj from Stanford University impressed us with his extensive 130-slide talk on the subject of Synchroton and FEL (Free Electron Laser) Applications. This detailed overview ranged across all the detector developments.