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X-ray compass for determining device orientation

United States Patent

5,912,945
June 15, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
An apparatus and method for determining the orientation of a device with respect to an x-ray source. In one embodiment, the present invention is coupled to a medical device in order to determine the rotational orientation of the medical device with respect to the x-ray source. In such an embodiment, the present invention is comprised of a scintillator portion which is adapted to emit photons upon the absorption of x-rays emitted from the x-ray source. An x-ray blocking portion is coupled to the scintillator portion. The x-ray blocking portion is disposed so as to vary the quantity of x-rays which penetrate the scintillator portion based upon the particular rotational orientation of the medical device with respect to the x-ray source. A photon transport mechanism is also coupled to the scintillator portion. The photon transport mechanism is adapted to pass the photons emitted from the scintillator portion to an electronics portion. By analyzing the quantity of the photons, the electronics portion determines the rotational orientation of the medical device with respect to the x-ray source.
Da Silva; Luiz B. (Danville, CA), Matthews; Dennis L. (Moss Beach, CA), Fitch; Joseph P. (Livermore, CA), Everett; Matthew J. (Pleasanton, CA), Colston; Billy W. (Livermore, CA), Stone; Gary F. (Livermore, CA)
Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
08/ 880,850
June 23, 1997
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.