Technologies

Medical Imaging

Medical Imaging Portfolios

Most Recent Inventions

Monomeric Fluorescent Protein-Ligand Complexes with Strong Fluorescence in the Far-Red Region

Research from the University of Wisconsin-Washington County in collaboration with the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India, has resulted in the development of monomeric variants of the naturally occurring Sandercyanin Fluorescent Protein (SFP) using site-directed mutagenesis. This work has stemmed from earlier research focused on development of the tetrameric form of SFP, a biliverdin-binding lipocalin protein originally isolated from the mucus of the blue walleye fish, Sander vitreus. Monomeric variants of SFP (mSFPs) have been found to possess the same non-covalent, bili-binding characteristics of the tetramer but are one-quarter the size (~18.6kDa) and do not oligomerize. They are therefore anticipated to be more useful in a host of biotechnology applications. Like the tetrameric form, the mSFPs have a large stokes shift (375nm/675nm) and fluoresce in the far-red or near infrared region, which is advantageous for a wide range of applications including investigation of protein-protein interactions, spatial and temporal gene expression, assessing cell biology distribution and mobility, studying protein activity and protein interactions in vivo, as well as cancer research, immunology, and stem cell research and sub-cellular localization. In addition, the newly developed mSFP’s far-red fluorescence is particularly advantageous for in vivo, deep-tissue imaging.
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Point-of-Care Obstetrical Imaging for Minimally or Untrained Birth Attendants

UW–Madison researchers with expertise in ultrasound technology and maternal-fetal health have designed a simplified, low cost ultrasound device to help minimally or untrained care providers recognize complications in pregnant women and make appropriate referrals. The operator does not need to interpret technical images.

The device is manually swept across the patient’s abdomen; automated algorithms extract critical structural information from these manual sweeps and convert the data into a 3-D model. Sequential estimation techniques are used to assess fetal gestational age, growth, presentation and number, as well as placental location.

The system features three main improvements:
  1. A specialized transducer fits comfortably in the hand, unlike conventional probes.
  2. The easy-to-understand interface guides the operator to move the probe across the patient’s abdomen; sonographic training is not required.
  3. If the device detects potential complications (e.g., if the fetus is malpresented, or the placenta is over the cervix) an alarm/flash will signal that the patient should be evaluated by a trained care provider.
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New Technology for Measuring Stress in Tendons, Ligaments and Muscles

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new device and technique for dynamically, noninvasively and accurately measuring longitudinal stress in tendons, muscles and ligaments in vivo.

The inventors use skin-mounted accelerometers to measure transverse wave speeds in superficial tissues under time-varying loading scenarios. Such wave speed propagation metrics are then used to determine tissue stress based on a wave propagation model.
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Digital Otoscope for Optimal Access, Visualization

UW–Madison researchers have designed an otoscope featuring a small camera that is mounted on a narrow tip and able to ‘look around’ obstructions such as earwax. The narrow tip also permits other medical instruments to be inserted into the ear while the otoscope is being used (e.g., a curette for removing earwax or foreign objects). A remarkable view of the tympanic membrane is achieved, facilitating proper diagnosis.

Notable features include a disposable, light-conducting speculum sleeve with distal tip smaller than 2 mm. In addition, images may be captured directly from the device and stored in the patient record in compliance with Federal law.
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Real-Time MRI Guides Surgical Intervention and Limits Human Error

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new method and accompanying software for using MRI to control and guide the placement of interventional devices during surgery. This method provides the clinician with rapid feedback that enables intuitive, real-time device manipulation.

A pivoting guide is arranged around a subject’s anatomy. Then rapidly acquired radial image data is used to measure two or more marker positions along the guide and calculate the desired trajectory for the interventional device. The device may be placed using a fully automated system, or an audio/visual signal may help the clinician adjust the guide and correctly place the device. In addition, image data may be used to measure two or more marker positions along the interventional device and calculate its location/orientation.
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Most Recent Patents

Medical Imaging with Better Temporal Fidelity Can Streamline Stroke Care

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method that increases temporal fidelity, sampling density and/or reduces noise of image frames obtained with a system such as CT, MRI or X-ray c-arm. After the images are acquired, a window function is selected and temporally deconvolves the image frames using a minimization technique. A temporal sampling density also may be selected and used in the temporal deconvolution.
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Real-Time 3-D Elastography

The researchers have now developed an enhancement to their technique that works especially well with a 2-D ultrasound array to provide real-time 3-D imaging. The improvement derives from a new reconstruction scheme that uses sparse data.

The new scheme imposes two key requirements – interpolation and smoothing. Essentially, raw ultrasonic echo data is acquired over many imaging planes. Then, an efficient algorithm tracks frame to frame displacement of the underlying tissue at each pixel in the imaging plane. Mechanical properties such as strain can be estimated by a calculation along the ultrasound scan line direction. The 3-D reconstruction algorithm rapidly reconstructs a complete 3-D visualization from a sparse collection of scattered data points.
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Image Analysis Method Normalizes Skeleton; Eases Physician Burden

UW–Madison researchers have developed a statistically optimized regional thresholding (SORT) method, which establishes the first set of optimized bone-by-bone thresholds to detect lesions throughout the entire skeleton in NaF PET/CT images.

Their method is based on differentiating diseased from healthy signals in different skeletal regions. They developed a standardized skeleton ‘template’ that reduces image features related to normal physiology and accentuates features related to disease. To achieve this, they analyzed multiple healthy individuals with respect to radioactive tracer uptake and established anatomy-dependent background signal thresholds. These values can serve to statistically select the best thresholds for identifying lesions in different skeletal regions.

After the determination of thresholds, a normalized image is produced that can be more easily analyzed by the physician, having had standard variations removed so that only disease-based differences are evident. The improved image dataset may also be used for better automatic analysis of lesion size, location and change.
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