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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Robust Chemical Shift MRI Using Magnetization Transfer

A UW–Madison researcher has developed a method that significantly reduces fat-water separation errors using a fat-insensitive field map for calibration. The field map is generated by exploiting the magnetization transfer effect and its lack of influence on fat.

The new method acquires a static magnetic field map (B0) before application of the IDEAL algorithm using a fast prescan with a special radiofrequency pulse and post processing, which reduces separation errors without prolonged or intensive computation.
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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

Detecting Iron Overload with MRI

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method for measuring iron and other substances in tissue using an MRI system, based on estimating tissue magnetic susceptibility.

The method acquires chemical-shift-encoded, water-fat separated data from a scanned region of interest. From this data a magnetic field inhomogeneity map of the system can be obtained. The field map enables estimation of the magnetic susceptibility of tissue to determine concentration of iron or other substances, such as gadolinium.
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Rapid Three-Dimensional Elasticity Imaging

UW–Madison researchers have developed an ultrasonic probe assembly and a reconstruction technique for rapid three-dimensional elasticity imaging using limited data.

The probe sends an ultrasonic beam of energy into tissue and receives echoes from the displaced material generally along an axis. Ultrasound data is acquired over a set of planes (between four and six in number) angularly spaced and sharing a common axis. A computer receives the ultrasound data and determines elasticity of the material at multiple points within each plane. A three-dimensional reconstruction then is generated. This reconstruction is faster than the traditional sequential data acquisition for three-dimensional visualization.
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Faster, Higher Quality Medical Imaging

UW–Madison researchers have developed a reconstruction technique that uses a non-patient-specific signal model (e.g., a physical or physiological model) to improve image quality without compromising accuracy.

While other methods make use of such analytical models in the post-processing stage, the new technique utilizes the model earlier in the process, yielding clinically useful images from highly undersampled data. The reconstruction process is designed to accommodate deviations from the model when appropriate.
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