The Laser from Măgurele, Romania might be useful in the fight against COVID-19. The famous Johns Hopkins University from the United States has asked the Laser to team up to develop some revolutionary hi-tech X-rays that might reveal better how the novel coronavirus is attacking lungs, for instance.
“We have a proposal from the Johns Hopkins University, we received a letter from the president of the university several weeks ago to urgently join a partnership targeting a new X-ray procedure,” the coordinator of the Magurele laser, Nicolae Zamfir told Digi24.
Johns Hopkins University has a representative working at Măgurele who has already set up a group on this topic.
The idea of the project is to use another property of the X-rays, and not their intensity. The usual X-ray is based on the fact that, by trespassing materials, the intensity of the X-rays is changed, depending on the density. The bone, as it is more dense, is displayed in a different way on the photographic plate, and the soft tissue is looking differently, but it has not enough resolution.
The new concept would be to use another property of the rays, the so-called the phase differential, Zamfir explained. “By using this new method, the resolution of the X-rays would be very good, it will be almost like the one of the human sight and it could detect further defect in the lungs, in the case of COVID-19, at the level of some millimeters. So we could detect what effects COVID-19 is producing in the lungs extremely accurately,” he added.
Moreover, through this method, the exposure time is also lower, of just several seconds, which be an advantage, considering the irradiation risk beyond a certain dose of X-rays.
However, the best advantage would be the cheap cost, for the new technology would be used also on the old models of X-ray devices.
Măgurele Laser, the strongest in the world, has 10 percent of the strength of the Sun on Earth. The project started in 2013 and was concluded last year. 200 researchers from 26 countries are currently working at the Laser.