Research, industry join forces to develop new ultrasound technologies

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Carestream Health, a leader in medical and dental imaging, and an interdisciplinary team of University researchers will collaborate on developing new technologies to expand the use of ultrasound imaging for medical diagnosis.

Michael Richards, right, a research assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Doran Mix, vascular surgery resident physician in the Richards lab, are developing a novel ultrasound technology to characterize the structure of aortic abdominal aneurisms and blockages in carotid arteries, in collaboration with Carestream Health Inc. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster

Michael Richards, right, a research assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Doran Mix, vascular surgery resident physician in the Richards lab, are developing a novel ultrasound technology to characterize the structure of aortic abdominal aneurisms and blockages in carotid arteries, in collaboration with Carestream Health Inc. Image credit: J. Adam Fenster

Headquartered in Rochester, Carestream entered the ultrasound market earlier this year, and is looking to expand its portfolio of products.

With funding provided by the company and New York State through the Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences (CEIS), the collaboration will initially focus on developing ultrasound technologies for:

  • Diagnosing tendon damage, led by Stephen McAleavey with Mark Buckley of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Initially the project will focus on insertional Achilles tendinopathy, a painful heel condition that resists nonsurgical treatments.
  • Characterizing the structure of aortic abdominal aneurisms and blockages in carotid arteries, to more accurately assess the risk of ruptures, led by Michael Richards of the Department of Surgery with Marvin Doyley of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • Producing handheld devices, using novel system architectures and relatively inexpensive components, led by Zeljko Ignjatovic, with Michael Huang and Doyley, all of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“These are three very substantive projects,” said James Burns, CTO of Carestream’s, X-ray and Ultrasound Solutions. “We hope it is the start of a very rich relationship.”

A 3D printed model of an aortic abdominal aneurism is seen in the lab of Michael Richards, a research assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Image credit: J. Adam Fenster

A 3D printed model of an aortic abdominal aneurism is seen in the lab of Michael Richards, a research assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Image credit: J. Adam Fenster

Diane Dalecki, director of the University’s Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, said, “this is a dream match between a company in our own backyard and our researchers, who are eager to take the work they’re doing in the laboratory and translate it to people who are building the products that make a difference for patients and physicians.”

Carestream offers two high-end ultrasound products, Touch Prime and Touch Prime XE, for general ob-gyn, vascular, and abdominal imaging. The company will expand its portfolio to include mid-range and portable devices.

“Through these joint projects, we can innovate in ultrasound technology and applications, and in turn influence Carestream’s technology roadmap. We seek to generate a pipeline of clinically validated ultrasound technologies for new products,” said Ajay Anand, PhD, a Carestream system engineer and principal investigator who worked closely with the University researchers to develop the collaboration. “In addition, we have an opportunity to really enhance the medical ultrasound technology ecosystem in the Rochester area.”

The collaboration is administered by the Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences, one of 15 Centers for Advanced Technology funded by NYSTAR, a division of the New York State Department of Economic Development. Funding for the first year of the initial two-year phase of the collaboration totals $270,000.

UR Ventures, the University’s technology transfer office, the University’s Center for Business Engagement and its Office of Research and Project Administration, and CEIS worked with Carestream to develop the master research agreement.

Since the early 1960s, University of Rochester researchers have produced pioneering clinical and technological advances in diagnostic ultrasound imaging. The Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound, formed in 1986, includes nearly 100 researchers, including visiting scientists from around the country.

Source: University of Rochester