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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Long-Lived Gadolinium-Based Agents for Tumor Imaging and Therapy

UW–Madison researchers have synthesized the first long-lived tumor-specific contrast agents for general broad spectrum tumor imaging and characterization. The new, gadolinium (Gd)-labeled analogs utilize an alkylphosphocholine carrier backbone. Their formulation properties render them suitable for injection while retaining tumor selectivity.
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High Accuracy Angle Measuring Device for Industrial, Medical, Scientific or Recreational Use

A UW-Stout researcher has developed a high-accuracy angle measurement system that addresses the problems inherent to commercially available systems. In this novel device, a high accuracy rotary optical encoder is controlled by a microprocessor. The encoder consists of rotating optical disks and sensors that are precisely formed and placed to read angles with 0.001 arc second sensitivity (average) and better than ±0.1 arc second accuracy (single readings), which is comparable to the accuracy of the high-end commercial encoders currently on the market. This accuracy is maintained with strategies that combat the mechanical sources of error that are known disadvantages of other devices. The system can also be adjusted to compensate for any asymmetrical shifts that may occur. Mechanical sources of error and noise are further minimized by precision placement of disks and sensors, as well as low-friction reference points that keep components centered and level during rotation. In addition, multiple sensor heads eliminate major readout errors and remove the need for recalibration. All of these features and benefits are contained within a design that is both compact and portable. Beyond high accuracy and portability, the cost of this new angle measurement system is substantially lower than a high-end commercial system because it is easily constructed from readily available industrial grade components, bringing the production cost to roughly $2,000. Strikingly, this cost is comparable to the advertised price of other rotary position encoders that are less than one tenth as accurate. Its high accuracy, low cost, and portability make this new angle measurement system a strong option for use in virtually any of the current applications for absolute rotary encoders.
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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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Rapid MRI Gradient Calibration Using Single-Point Imaging

UW–Madison researchers have developed a dynamic SPI-based method for MRI systems that allows simple, rapid and robust measurement of k-space trajectory.

To enable gradient measurement, they utilized the variable field-of-view (FOV) property of dynamic SPI, which is dependent on gradient shape. In the process, one-dimensional (1-D) dynamic SPI data are acquired from a targeted gradient axis, and then relative FOV scaling factors between 1-D images or k-spaces at varying encoding times are found. These relative scaling factors are the relative k-space position that can be used for image reconstruction.

The gradient measurement technique also can be used to estimate the gradient impulse response function for reproducible gradient estimation as a linear time invariant system.
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Most Recent Patents

Controlling Motion Effects in MRI

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method for overcoming motion effects in MRI images. The new method makes dynamic contrast enhanced imaging less susceptible to a patient’s respiratory movement.

In essence, a sliding slice acquisition strategy is used to sample k-space in a pseudorandom manner relative to the trajectories extending between the center and peripheral areas of k-space. A two-dimensional (2-D) slice may be slid from one position to another faster than the patient is breathing/moving. This allows motion artifacts to be reflected as geometric distortions that do not detract from the clinical utility of the images.
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Single MRI Scan Acquires Multiple Sets of Inversion Recovery Data

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method that expedites inversion recovery by acquiring data after each IR radiofrequency pulse. In this way, both single IR and DIR data can be obtained in a single, condensed scan.

In the method, each IR pulse is followed by an excitation pulse and data acquisition. Any suitable data acquisition scheme can be employed, such as VIPR (vastly undersampled isotropic projection reconstruction). Multiple images of the subject are reconstructed from this data. Data after the first image can produce a traditional T1-weighted image, while data after the second inversion produces a traditional DIR image.
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Monitoring Tissue Fluorescence in Bright Light

UW–Madison researchers have developed a fluorescence imaging process that can be used in surgical suites and other brightly lit environments. Specifically, the imaging process coordinates with rapidly switched ambient room light, which turns off and on at a speed imperceptible to the human eye. Alternatively, research locations such as bioimaging facilities that are traditionally dark can be illuminated – improving productivity and safety. During the periods of darkness, fluorescence signals from microscopes can be detected and imaged without background light interference.
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