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Opening of the Dynamic Imaging Center at sitem-insel in Bern

Life sciences

13 November 2023

Empa is one of the partners who established the new "Dynamic Imaging Center" (DIC) in Bern. Empa is one of the partners who established the new “Dynamic Imaging Center” (DIC) in Bern. I © sitem

sitem-insel has inaugurated the Dynamic Imaging Center, a groundbreaking facility that introduces a novel approach to X-ray imaging.

In a notable advancement for medical technology, sitem-insel, the Swiss Institute for Translational Medicine and Entrepreneurship in Bern, has inaugurated the Dynamic Imaging Center (DIC). This groundbreaking facility introduces a novel approach to X-ray imaging, allowing for the first time simultaneous, dynamic X-ray images from multiple angles. This innovation opens new doors for clinical research in Europe, particularly in the study of musculoskeletal disorders.

The DIC’s establishment is the culmination of a collaborative effort between the Inselspital and Empa. The former provides crucial medical insights, while the latter contributes its expertise in biomechanical modeling and image processing. This synergy has enabled the creation of a laboratory unit that is unique in its field across Europe.

Traditional medical imaging techniques like X-ray, CT, and MRI require patients to remain stationary, posing challenges in diagnosing many musculoskeletal conditions. The DIC’s technology circumvents this limitation by capturing images of patients in motion. “If we could take the images while the patient is moving, we could better diagnose diseases that are currently very difficult to detect,” says Johannes Heverhagen from Inselspital, Bern’s University Hospital.

The center features a cutting-edge Dynamic Biplane Radiographic Imaging (DBRI) system capable of capturing up to 1,000 X-ray images per second. This high-speed, low-radiation dose system can detect minute movements within joints with extraordinary precision. While not meant to replace traditional 3D imaging, the moving X-ray images from the DBRI significantly enhance the understanding of bone or joint issues during movement.

Such detailed imaging is invaluable for conditions like osteoarthritis and joint instability and could also aid in diagnosing common ailments like back pain. “The opening of the sitem-insel DIC…demonstrates how innovation in imaging enables new research approaches,” notes Simon Rothen, CEO of sitem-insel.

At the forefront of clinical applications and research

Looking to the future, the DIC aims to foster research in degenerative musculoskeletal diseases and potentially collaborate with manufacturers of orthopedic implants. The facility’s unique capabilities position it at the forefront of clinical applications and research, making it a significant asset to the Insel Campus in Bern and the broader medical community.

The DIC, managed by the University Institute for Diagnostic, Interventional and Pediatric Radiology (DIPR) at the Inselspital, is set to provide access to external partners for research. Its strategic location at sitem-insel reflects the institute’s commitment to accelerating the transition from bench to bedside in medical innovation.