The Newsroom, the news outlet for UNC Health Care and School of Medicine, recently showcased Dr. Andrew Tucker’s doctoral work with mammographic imaging. Dr. Tucker, who defended his dissertation late this February, worked closely with Dr. Otto Zhou to characterize and optimize a stationary digital breast tomosynthesis system, currently in clinical trials at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital. Their new system uses carbon nanotube-based x-ray sources, thereby providing better spatial resolution than the lone FDA-approved 3D x-ray system, which uses a single x-ray source that rotates 15 degrees. With the current FDA-approved approach, clinicians must also order a 2D mammogram due to the blurring from the rotation of the 3D system. This second mammogram exposes the patient to an unnecessary secondary source of radiation, which Dr. Zhou and Tucker aim to eliminate by improving the resolution of the initial mammogram.
Dr. Tucker received both his Bachelor’s and Doctoral degrees from the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC and NC State. He is currently working for Xinray Systems, a UNC spinout company that made the tube in the new mammographic imaging system that Tucker helped to develop.
To see the full feature, check out “Building a Better Image” on UNC’s Newsroom.