Healthcare Imaging Technology from Oxford Provides Superior Performance at Lower Cost
14 March 2011
Oxford Electromagnetic Acoustic Imaging (OxEMA) is a patented healthcare imaging technology offering superior diagnostic power to conventional ultrasound systems and MRI-like images.
Recent results from the Engineering Science Department of the University of Oxford demonstrate that OxEMA clearly identifies artificially introduced abnormalities (mimicking a stone and tumours), in a sheep’s kidney, which are not clearly differentiated using conventional ultrasound.
OxEMA’s technology uses a unique, innovative combination of electro-magnetic and acoustic waves in order to create medical images at a cost comparable to ultrasound. The benefits of this are much greater clarity of image and unparalleled tissue-type characterization in this price bracket. The technology is non-ionising and thus offers a clear benefit over x-ray and CT scanning. The technology provides the ability to discriminate different electrical and mechanical properties of a tissue in a way not available from any current imaging technology which will potentially radically improve the identification of tumours and any other anomalous tissue characteristics. The imaging capabilities will initially be made available as an additional feature on a system which operates with a similar user interface to current ultrasound machines.
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OxEMA has the potential to enable better, earlier diagnosis of numerous conditions and tumours, including some or all of breast, liver, kidney and thyroid cancer, as well as having applications in orthopaedics and other clinical areas. The technology provides an automatically registered, overlaid EMA image on top of the ultrasound image, providing the ability to simultaneously assess the electrical and mechanical properties of the same piece of tissue, with considerably improved diagnostic power.
Professor David Edwards, who leads this research at the Department of Engineering Science, said, “OxEMA has the capability of producing MRI-like images because it utilises the electromagnetic properties of tissue as the contrast mechanism. However, in combination with ultrasound we can achieve images of high spatial resolution without the use of large expensive magnets, keeping the size and cost of the system much lower than MRI. It also has the important advantage of being a non-ionising technology reducing the radiation exposure for the patient. Using the electromagnetic signature of the identified targets, the technology has the potential to be used in the classification and identification of specific tissue types. We are now working towards building an imaging system that can be used in a clinical environment”.
OxEMA is a proposed Isis spin-out company seeking investment to take patented OxEMA technology through its initial critical clinical, engineering and regulatory stages. OxEMA is envisaged to have potential non-medical applications which make it even more attractive.
Industry and investor enquiries to:
Dr Rakesh Roshan, Project Team Manager
Isis Innovation Ltd.
T +44 (0)1865 280853
Media enquiries to:
Simon Gray, Marketing & Communications Manager
Isis Innovation Ltd.
T +44 (0)1865 614428