Endra Life Sciences – Photoacoustic Computed Tomography
Endra Inc. is a developer and manufacturer of biomedical imaging technology which have the unique ability to provide rapid functional images of structures such as tumours, blood vessels, lymph nodes, and other tissues with higher resolution than most current biomedical imaging devices.
Their imaging systems are based around a relatively new imaging technology called Photoacoustics. Photoacoustic imaging combines the most beneficial properties of light-based or optical imaging with ultrasound to create an advanced medical imaging tool. Photoacoustics combines the advantages of optical contrast techniques as well as ultrasound high-resolution-at-depth capability. This results in information-rich images providing both structural and functional images suitable for a range of diseases.
The Nexus 128 system uses the ultrasound to detect sound waves from the localised heat produced when minute laser pulses are absorbed by introduced or endogenous contrast agents in biological tissues. Some of the energy from the laser is absorbed and converted into heat inducing a transient thermoelectric expansion, resulting in a wideband (MHz) ultrasonic emission. This absorption is governed by the optical properties (absorption wavelength) of the contrast agent. The resulting ultrasonic waves can be picked up by ultrasonic transducers and analysed to generate images, For example haemoglobin is a good absorber and differences in the absorption frequency between O2 saturated and unsaturated haemoglobin can be used to study hypoxia.
Essentially the Nexus 128 imaging system utilises Photoacoustics to image the absorption of light by using the ultrasonic detectors and 3D images of the examined area can be produced with inherent high levels of contrast.
Photoacoustic imaging is suited to the investigation of a range of different scenarios such as:
- Cancer research
- Cardiovascular disease
- Women’s health
- Men’s health
Endra’s employs a team of world class scientific, clinical, and pharmaceutical industry leaders. They have been tasked with adding physiological and molecular imaging capability to widely available ultrasound devices to expand their analytical capabilities and hence speed up the development of clinical treatments.