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The University of Aberdeen’s Clinical Research Facility is housed within the recently built 3379m² Health Sciences Building on the University’s Foresterhill site. The building opened in August 2006 with the first research participants being seen in the CRF in September 2006.
Any bona fide researcher can request access to the facility whether he or she is employed by the University, the NHS Trust or some other research organisation.
The University CRF is suitable for ‘ambulatory’ clinical research such as population-based epidemiological studies of clinical trials.
The Imaging Department within the Health Sciences Building boasts state of the art equipment, suitable for a variety of uses. There are two, highly qualified; research radiographers trained in all modalities and the department follows a robust Quality Control and Quality Assurance programme.
We were awarded a grant from the Chief Scientist’s Office to purchase a direct digital imaging system. This unique system has dual x-ray tubes and allows accurate 3D measurements, in vivo, using a technique called Roentgen Stereometric Analysis (RSA). The RSA Adora System was developed with the Danish company NRT, in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen, and was opened for use by Susan Hampshire OBE on the 20th January 2010. The RSA method of imaging is accepted as the ‘Gold Standard’ in orthopaedic research studies as it can precisely measure migration in implant surgery, only one of its many applications. The RSA Adora System can also be used for direct digital diagnostic radiography (DR)
The ground floor is home to two dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) densitometer scanners, manufactured by GE Lunar. DXA is the ‘Gold Standard’ for the measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) and is currently the most widely used technique for the assessment of skeletal status in both a clinical and research setting. The Precision Error, in our department, at the Lumbar Spine is 0.56% (minimal acceptable precision 1.9%) The Lunar iDXA is Lunar’s latest and most advanced densitometer. There are many applications available for use, apart from BMD measurement, two of which are
- Whole Body Composition which accurately shows exactly where fat is distributed throughout the body and directly measures and calculates total fat, lean and bone tissue, rather than estimating body composition.
- Lumbar Vertebral Assessment (LVA). The high resolution of the iDXA produces quality images which allow researchers and clinicians to visually assess the presence of vertebral deformities using this high definition, direct digital technology.
The second bone densitometer is the Lunar Prodigy. It has similar functions to the iDXA but is used where BMD is the main outcome.