Carduso Investments and RUG Holding (RHM) announced their investment in high tech startup QDI-Systems on Monday. The company is a spin-off from the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials at the University of Groningen and develops imaging devices for medical applications, based on quantum dots. This investment will be used to further scale up the production of their Quantum Dot application for X-ray machines.
X-rays are a well-known method of looking "in the body" in the hospital for effects such as broken bones. As soon as someone has to have an X-ray, the medical staff has to stand behind a screen and sometimes a lead apron is put on if necessary. These measures are necessary because continuous exposure to X-rays can be dangerous. The radiation increases the risk of developing cancer, so it’s important to limit it as much as possible for both staff and patients.
‘Quantum Dots’: the next generation in X-ray technology.
Quantum dots are nanocrystals, with unique properties to allow efficient capture of X-rays and converting them into electrical charges within these Quantum Dots. These charges are further amplified, converted into digital data and displayed as an image in the screen in front of a radiologist.
Application of Quantum Dots in X-ray detectors has several advantages; due to the higher sensitivity, sharper and thus more detailed images can be obtained. Another even more important benefit is that the amount of radiation can be drastically reduced and the safety of both patient and medical staff is increased. The application also lends itself to work with currently existing detectors. This will for example allow making mammography screening a lot more patient-friendly and it also allows the tissue to be photographed from multiple angles ‘in one shot’, so better screening can take place.
QDI is based on academic research, developed and patented at the University of Groningen. With the help of NWO Take-off grant, that research was converted into a scalable business model. The initial technical validation was further supported by SNN VIA subsidy for prototype demonstration. In addition to the financial support from RuG-Holding, Carduso Capital has also committed to the company. With this investment, QDI can further develop the proven basic technique in scaling up and prepare for cooperation with industrial leaders.