Devices & Diagnostics

Medical imaging system puts ‘Spotlight’ on tumors; InnerOptic gets $1.2M grant

A medical imaging system being developed to precisely view liver tumors for removal in minimally invasive surgery has secured a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. InnerOptic Technology will share the phase II Small Business Innovation Research, or SBIR, grant with Kitware, a software company. InnerOptic is developing a system that will […]

A medical imaging system being developed to precisely view liver tumors for removal in minimally invasive surgery has secured a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

InnerOptic Technology will share the phase II Small Business Innovation Research, or SBIR, grant with Kitware, a software company. InnerOptic is developing a system that will provide 3-D visualization to guide a needle probe during surgery to remove tumors.

The operating room system is based on InnerOptics’ Spotlight technology, which was developed during phase I of the NIH grant. Spotlight works much the same way as its name suggests, showing in detail only what a surgeon wants to target. Right now, surgeons navigate this delicate surgery by using two displays: one that shows computed tomography (CT) images and another that shows ultrasound. Difficulty interpreting spatial relationships can lengthen the time of a surgery and raise the risk of patient injury. Spotlight makes both CT and ultrasound viewable simultaneously on a single display. The result gives doctors better spatial sense.

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InnerOptic’s earlier work on its Spotlight technology was awarded a $149,728 phase I SBIR grant in 2009. The new grant will be applied toward algorithms that will keep the CT and ultrasound images continuously aligned. InnerOptic holds multiple patents that protect the Spotlight technology. Spotlight is not yet cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in surgeries.

Hillsborough, North Carolina-based InnerOptic was spun out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Clifton Park, New York-based Kitware is an open-source software developer whose areas of specialization include visualization and medical imaging.

[Image from InnerOptic]