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Anthony Butler thumbProfessor Anthony Butler.

The MARS group (Medipix All Resolution System), is a world leader in spectral x-ray technology for molecular imaging of pre-clinical models of disease. The goal of our research is to work with industrial partners to develop a commercial spectral scanner for molecular imaging.

External funding is from a 6-year MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment) contract ("Taking MARS Spectral CT to Human Imaging"), and a parallel contract with MARS Bioimaging Ltd (MBI). A number health related and collaboration grants provide additional funding to the project. These include the National Health Foundation, the NZ Arthritis Foundation, the New Zealand Royal Society, and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.


Professor Anthony Butler
Tel +64 3 378 6359
Mob +64 21 0272 0806

Visit our Partnerships page for more about our partnerships and collaborations.

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MARS Spectral Molecular Imaging

MARS spectral molecular imaging is a new 3D quantitative colour imaging modality. This technology is based on x-ray transmission and has the potential to advance diagnosis and treatment of major health diseases in new ways. The novel features of this scanner are an ability to differentiate and quantify simultaneously several targeted cell types, biomarkers, and drug delivery at the target tissue. It provides molecular imaging at the histological scale by measuring x-ray attenuation of the tissues at different energies (also known as wavelength or colour).

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Our people

Imaging research leader

Professor Anthony Butler, bioengineering and radiology

The team consists of engineers, physicists, computer scientists, biologist, radiologists, and surgeons spread across four universities and several local companies:

  • University of Canterbury (Canterbury)
  • University of Otago (Otago)
  • University of Auckland (Auckland)
  • Lincoln University (Lincoln)
  • MARS Bioimaging Ltd
  • Shamrock Industries
  • Interlink Research Ltd

Lead investigators

  • Dr Christoph Bartneck (HITLab NZ, Canterbury)
  • Dr Stephen Bell (MARS Bioimaging Ltd)
  • Professor Anthony Butler (Bioengineering, Otago, Project leader)
  • Professor Phil Butler (Physics and Astronomy, Canterbury, Project leader)
  • Dr Robert Doesburg (MARS Bioimaging Ltd)
  • Associate Professor Steven Gieseg (Biological Sciences, Canterbury)
  • Mr Brian Goulter (MARS Bioimaging Ltd)
  • Dr Joe Healy (MARS Bioimaging Ltd)
  • Dr David Krofcheck (Physics, Auckland)
  • Dr Stuart Lansley (MARS Bioimaging Ltd)
  • Dr Nanette Schleich (Radiation Therapy, Otago)
  • Dr Michael Walsh (MARS Bioimaging Ltd)
  • Associate Professor Tim Woodfield (Bioengineering, Otago)

Current and recent postdoctoral researchers

  • Dr Marzieh Anjomrouz (MBI, Otago)
  • Dr Ali Atharifard (MBI, Otago)
  • Dr Chris Bateman (Radiology, Otago)
  • Dr Alex Chernoglazov (MBI, Canterbury)
  • Dr Joe Healy (Biological Sciences)
  • Dr Harish Mandalika (MBI, Canterbury)
  • Dr Nadia Mitchell (Radiology, Otago)
  • Dr Mahdieh Moghiseh (Bioengineering Otago)
  • Dr Judy Mohr (Bioengineering, Otago)
  • Dr Raj Panta (Bioengineering Otago)
  • Dr Hannah Prebble (MBI, Canterbury)
  • Dr Aamir Raja (Bioengineering, Otago)
  • Dr Niels de Ruiter (Bioengineering Otago and HITLab Canterbury)

A large number of postgraduate students have worked alongside Imaging researchers to achieve their qualifications.
Visit our Imaging students page

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Wu, W., Hu, D., Niu, C., Vanden Broeke, L., Butler, A. P. H., Cao, P., … Wang, G. (2021). Deep learning based spectral CT imaging. Neural Networks, 144, 342-358. doi: 10.1016/j.neunet.2021.08.026

Lowe, C., Ortega-Gil, A., Moghiseh, M., Anderson, N. G., Muñoz-Barrutia, A., Vaquero, J. J., Raja, A. Y., Matanaghi, A., … Dapamede, T., Adebileje, S. A., … Amma, M. R., … Asghariomabad, F., … Baer, K., … Butler, P. H., Carbonez, P., … Chapagain, K., … Crighton, J. S., Dahal, S., Damet, J., de Ruiter, N. J. A., … Gieseg, S. P., … Gurney, S., … Marfo, E., … Panta, R. K., … Schleich, N., … Butler, A. P. H. (2021). Molecular imaging of pulmonary tuberculosis in an ex-vivo mouse model using spectral photon-counting computed tomography and micro-CT. IEEE Access, 9, 67201-67208. doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3076432

Baer, K., Kieser, S., Schon, B., Rajendran, K., ten Harkel, T., Ramyar, M., … Bateman, C., Butler, A., Raja, A. Y., Hooper, G., Anderson, N., & Woodfield, T. (2021). Spectral CT imaging of human osteoarthritic cartilage via quantitative assessment of glycosaminoglycan content using multiple contrast agents. APL Bioengineering, 5(2), 026101. doi: 10.1063/5.0035312

Lau, L. C. M., Lee, W. Y. W., Butler, A. P. H., Chernoglazov, A. I., Chung, K. Y., Ho, K. K. W., … Butler, P. H., & Yung, P. S. H. (2021). Multi-energy spectral photon-counting computed tomography (MARS) for detection of arthroplasty implant failure. Scientific Reports, 11, 1554. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-80463-2

Kanithi, P., de Ruiter, N. J. A., Amma, M. R., Lindeman, R. W., Butler, A. P. H., Butler, P. H., … Adebileje, S. A., … Asghariomabad, F., … Bamford, B., … Carbonez, P., … Clark, J. A., … Crighton, J. S., Dahal, S., Damet, J., … Gieseg, S. P., … Gurney, S., Healy, J. L., … Lowe, C., Marfo, E., Matanaghi, A., Moghiseh, M., … Panta, R. K., … Raja, A. Y., Renaud, P., … Schleich, N., … Sheeja, J. S., … Walker, E. P., … Younger, W. R. (2021). Interactive image segmentation of MARS datasets using bag of features. IEEE Transactions on Radiation & Plasma Medical Sciences, 5(4), 559-567. doi: 10.1109/TRPMS.2020.3030045