Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Endoscopes Push Imaging Boundaries

Dating Back Centuries, Endoscopy Takes Advantage of Today's Cutting Edge Technologies
Researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering are using 3D ultrasound transducers to image beating dog hearts (Copyright Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering).
Massachusetts General Hospital's spectrally-encoded endoscopy (SEE) technology is only the about the width of a human hair and promises to open new horizons in endoscopy (Copyright Massachusetts General Hospital's Wellman Center for Photomedicine).
Tiny form-fit factor and low-power dissipation are at the core of Micron's CMOS endoscope-sensor technology (Copyright Micron Technology, Inc.).
Scientists at Penn State, Lockheed-Martin Corporation and Stanford University have jointly devised a solution for detailed three-dimensional CT-based procedure mapping and follow-on image-guided bronchoscopy that draws upon computer graphics and machine vision techniques (Copyright Penn State University)

By Lee J. Nelson
Contributing Editor

Deployment of image-guided bronchoscopy to other teaching facilities is about a year away, according to William Higgins, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Penn State. Higgins is optimistic about its clinical applications and told Advanced Imaging that requisite approval by the Center for Devices and Radiological Health likely will come in 2009.

Stereoscopic Sensor

Our eyes serve the brain with two independent, slightly different views of an object. Each pair is processed into a single stereo image which also relays distance (derived from the parallax). Video cameras for endoscopic surgery are monocular and allow only two-dimensional visualization. The lack of depth perception significantly reduces a surgeon's ability to determine the precise size and location of anatomical structures and limits his/her capacity to maneuver, diagnose and operate efficiently.

Visionsense Corporation's (Orangeburg, N.Y. and Petah-Tikva, Israel) patented approach endows the surgeon with real-time, high-resolution, natural stereoscopic vision. The proprietary single sensor is based on multidisciplinary technologies combined with sophisticated image processing algorithms. Effectively replacing conventional monocular endoscopy, a software-driven stereoscopic sensor just a few millimeters in size-digitally enhances image quality, bestows depth perception and increases the level of information available to physicians during minimally invasive surgery. In the future, Visionsense intends to employ less expensive sensors, mounted in a competitively priced, disposable and/or reusable endoscope which may be rigid or flexible.

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