Nominee 2005

Höchstleistungs-Röntgenstrahler

Revolutionary high-speed, high-resolution X-ray tube for computer tomography

Dr. rer. nat. Peter Schardt (Spokesperson)
Dr. rer. nat. Karin Söldner
Prof. Dr. Dr. rer. nat. Wolfgang Knüpfer
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, Erlangen

(f.l.t.r.) Dr. rer. nat. Peter Schardt, Prof. Dr. Dr. rer. nat. Wolfgang Knüpfer, Dr. rer. nat. Karin Söldner

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in Germany. In order to detect diseased coronary vessels early, CT scanners are being used every more frequently. But how do these machines produce the necessary degree of precision?

The innovative X-ray tubes developed by Peter Schardt, Karin Söldner, and Wolfgang Knüpfer form the basis. Peter Schardt heads the X-ray and Vacuum Innovation department at Siemens AG in Erlangen, Karin Söldner is project manager and responsible for Straton, Wolfgang Knüpfer is division manager for vacuum technology for X-ray tubes and image intensifiers.

Rapid rotation for sharp pictures
In computer tomography (CT), cross-sectional pictures of the body are taken using x-rays and joined to produce a 3D image, for example, of the heart. To obtain such detailed pictures of a beating heart, the x-ray source, an x-ray tube, must rotate very rapidly around the patient’s body. In this way, it produces many individual pictures with a very short exposure time. The technology used in conventional CT scanners, however, has come up against limiting factors.

To produce x-rays in the tube anodes, vast amounts of heat are produced. To cool these down fast enough, the x-ray tubes have to be large and heavy. This limits the rate of rotation. The “Straton” x-ray tube technology developed by the three nominees makes it possible to build smaller and yet more powerful x-ray tubes – thanks to the innovative technology in the tubes.

The entire tube turns
Instead of an anode that turns inside the tube but independent of it, the entire x-ray tube rotates rapidly about its axis. The anode is rigidly attached to it and is directly cooled by an oil circuit. The advantage: the x-ray tube design can be built very compact – and cools down very rapidly. The result is a very accurate look inside the human body – with considerably shorter examination times. The coronary arteries and blood vessels can be imaged in brilliant quality with a single CT scan lasting no more than a few seconds. And: patents can be examined despite a rapid or irregular heartbeat – something conventional tomographs can’t do.

With the new, fast x-ray tubes, however, the heartbeat can be virtually frozen on the images. The Straton technology is now used exclusively in the latest generation of Siemens computer tomographs which were introduced in 2003. These scanners have also improved emergency diagnostics: the physician can produce a whole body scan in around 20 seconds in order to obtain a picture of an accident victim’s internal injuries.

The right to nominate outstanding achievements for the German Future Award is incumbent on leading German institutions in Science and Industry as well as foundations.

The Project "Revolutionary high-speed, high-resolution X-ray tube for computer tomography" was nominated by the Verband Technisch-Wissenschaftlicher Vereine.

more details

Resumes

Dr. rer. nat. Peter Schardt

Dr. rer. nat. Peter Schardt

20.06.1965
geboren in Hadamar/Limburg-Weilburg
1985 – 1990
Studium der Physik an der Technischen Universität
Darmstadt
1990 – 1995
Doktorand am Institut für Kernphysik,
Technische Universität Darmstadt
1995
Promotion
1995 – 1996
Projektleitung für „Neue Röhrenprinzipien“ bei der
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, Erlangen
1996 – 2000
Projektleitung „Drehkolbenröhre für die medizinische
Diagnostik“ bei der Siemens AG, Medical Solutions,
Erlangen
2000 – 2002
Gruppenleiter Vorfeldentwicklung Röntgenröhren bei der
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, Erlangen
seit 2002
Abteilungsleitung Vorfeldentwicklung
Röntgen- und Vakuumtechnik bei der Siemens AG,
Medical Solutions, Erlangen

Ehrungen:

1995
Preis für hervorragende wissenschaftliche Leistungen des
Vereins der Freunde der Technischen Universität
Darmstadt e.V.
2004
Siemens Medical Innovation Excellence Award 2004

Dr. rer. nat. Karin Söldner

Dr. rer. nat. Karin Söldner

06.05.1958
geboren in Nürnberg
1976 – 1982
Studium der Physik an der Friedrich-Alexander-Universität
Erlangen-Nürnberg
1982 – 1988
Doktorand am Physikalischen Institut der Friedrich-
Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
1987
Promotion
1988 – 1989
Berechnung von Neutronenflüssen bei der Siemens AG,
Kraftwerk Union (KWU)
1989 – 1992
Entwicklung Kugellagertechnologie und Gleitlager-
technologie, Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, RV, Erlangen
1992 – 1993
Mutterschaftsurlaub
1993 – 1995
Mitarbeit im Projekt Gleitlagertechnologie, Betreuung
Fertigungsverlagerung Kugellager zu externer Firma,
Validierungen Kugellagertechnologie
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, RV, Erlangen
1995 – 1996
Projektleitung Projekt Kugellagertechnologie, Qualitäts-
verbesserung und Koordinierung der Aktivitäten in
3 Fertigungslinien Erlangen H, Erlangen TZR und SRW
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, RV, Erlangen
1996 – 1999
Projektleitung bei RV des Förderprojekts der bayerischen
Staatsregierung: Optimierung der Schmierung durch
PVD-Schichten, Kooperation mit GMN, KTmfK der
Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg und MuK der TH Darmstadt,
Entwicklung neuer Lagersysteme für zwei unterschiedliche
CT-Strahler, Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, RV, Erlangen
1997 – 1998
Produktverantwortung für CT-Strahler Dura S
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, RV, Erlangen
1998 – 1999
Produktverantwortung für Angiographie-Strahlerfamilie
Megalix
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, RV, Erlangen
1999 – 2002
Mitarbeit im Projekt Diabolo, Koordination von
Konstruktion, Entwicklung, Designverifizierung und
Fertigung bei RVL, Produktverantwortung für Diabolo
Entwicklung Drehkolbenstrahler bis einschließlich
Kundenerprobung
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, RV, Erlangen
seit 2002
Projektleiterin und Produktverantwortliche für Straton
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, RV, Erlangen

Prof. Dr. Dr. rer. nat. Wolfgang Knüpfer

Prof. Dr. Dr. rer. nat. Wolfgang Knüpfer

10.04.1943
geboren in Dresden
1962 – 1969
Studium der Physik an der Friedrich-Alexander-Universität
Erlangen-Nürnberg
1969 – 1972
Doktorand am Institut für Theoretische Physik,
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
1972
Promotion
1972 – 1975
Assistent am Institut für Theoretische Physik,
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Aufbau einer Forschungsgruppe mit Projekten in
Kern- (Kernstruktur) und Strahlenphysik
International anerkannte Zusammenarbeit mit dem Institut
für Kernphysik der TH Darmstadt (S-DALINAC)
1975 – 1981
Forschungsaufenthalte in Washington, Paris, Utrecht
1981 – 1983
Habilitation, Privatdozent
1983 – 1985
Assistent der Entwicklungsleitung Röntgen der
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, Erlangen
1985 – 1989
Entwicklungsleiter X-Ray Speicherleuchtstoffe
und Verstärkerfolien
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, Erlangen
1989 – 1992
Entwicklungsleiter Röntgenbildverstärker
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, Erlangen
1992
Geschäftszweigleiter Bildverstärker
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, Erlangen
seit 1993
Geschäftsgebietsleiter Vakuumtechnik
(Entwicklung, Produktion, Marketing/Vertrieb)
für Röntgenröhren und Bildverstärker
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions, Erlangen
1994
apl. Professor für Physik an der Friedrich-Alexander-
Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
seit 1992
Mitglied der AAPM (American Association of Physicists in
Medicine)
1997 – 2002
Mitglied des Wissenschaftlichen Rates der GSI (Gesellschaft
für Schwerionenforschung), Darmstadt

Contact

Spokesperson

Dr. rer. nat. Peter Schardt
Abteilungsleiter Grundlagen / Vorfeldentwicklung
Vacuum Technology (RV)
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions
Günther-Scharowsky-Str. 1
91058 Erlangen
Tel.: +49 (0) 9131 / 73 23 70
Fax: +49 (0) 9131 / 73 24 27
E-Mail: peter.schardt@siemens.com

Press

Axel Wieczorek
Leiter Public Communications
Corporate Communications
Siemens AG, Medical Solutions
Henkestr. 127
91052 Erlangen
Tel.: +49 (0) 9131 / 84 83 35
Fax: +49 (0) 9131 / 84 29 24
E-Mail: a.wieczorek@siemens.com

A description provided by the institutes and companies regarding their nominated projects

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in Germany. In order to detect diseased coronary vessels early, CT scanners are being used every more frequently.

But how do these machines produce the necessary degree of precision?

The innovative X-ray tubes developed by Peter Schardt, Karin Söldner, and Wolfgang Knüpfer form the basis. Peter Schardt heads the X-ray and Vacuum Innovation department at Siemens AG in Erlangen, Karin Söldner is project manager and responsible for Straton, Wolfgang Knüpfer is division manager for vacuum technology for X-ray tubes and image intensifiers.

Rapid rotation for sharp pictures

In computer tomography (CT), cross-sectional pictures of the body are taken using x-rays and joined to produce a 3D image, for example, of the heart. To obtain such detailed pictures of a beating heart, the x-ray source, an x-ray tube, must rotate very rapidly around the patient’s body. In this way, it produces many individual pictures with a very short exposure time. The technology used in conventional CT scanners, however, has come up against limiting factors.

To produce x-rays in the tube anodes, vast amounts of heat are produced. To cool these down fast enough, the x-ray tubes have to be large and heavy. This limits the rate of rotation. The “Straton” x-ray tube technology developed by the three nominees makes it possible to build smaller and yet more powerful x-ray tubes – thanks to the innovative technology in the tubes.

The entire tube turns

Instead of an anode that turns inside the tube but independent of it, the entire x-ray tube rotates rapidly about its axis. The anode is rigidly attached to it and is directly cooled by an oil circuit. The advantage: the x-ray tube design can be built very compact – and cools down very rapidly. The result is a very accurate look inside the human body – with considerably shorter examination times. The coronary arteries and blood vessels can be imaged in brilliant quality with a single CT scan lasting no more than a few seconds. And: patents can be examined despite a rapid or irregular heartbeat – something conventional tomographs can’t do.

With the new, fast x-ray tubes, however, the heartbeat can be virtually frozen on the images. The Straton technology is now used exclusively in the latest generation of Siemens computer tomographs which were introduced in 2003. These scanners have also improved emergency diagnostics: the physician can produce a whole body scan in around 20 seconds in order to obtain a picture of an accident victim’s internal injuries.

The right to nominate outstanding achievements for the German Future Award is incumbent on leading German institutions in Science and Industry as well as foundations.

The Project „Revolutionary high-speed, high-resolution X-ray tube for computer tomography“ was nominated by the Verband Technisch-Wissenschaftlicher Vereine.

Winner 2005 · TEAM 1