Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Combating blindness is vision of UT, ORNL project

10.02.2005


Millions of people at risk of becoming blind could one day be helped by an Oak Ridge National Laboratory technology originally intended to understand semiconductor defects.



The project takes advantage of the Department of Energy lab’s proprietary content-based image retrieval technology, which is a method for sorting and finding visually similar images in large databases. Manufacturers of semiconductors have found this technology highly effective for rapidly scanning hundreds of thousands of tiny semiconductors to learn quickly about problems with manufacturing processes.

"We’re adapting a proven technology and combining it with new image gathering and analysis tools to help create a database to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of blinding eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration," said project co-leader Ken Tobin of ORNL’s Engineering Science & Technology Division.


Diabetic retinopathy alone will affect 239 million people worldwide by 2010, according to Tobin, who noted that this number will have doubled since 1994. Partnering with ORNL is Edward Chaum, an ophthalmologist and Plough Foundation professor of retinal diseases at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

Researchers plan to use digital retinal photography and optical coherence tomography -- a technique for examining living tissue non-invasively -- to image and quantify specific disease-based changes in the retina. They will develop an extensive image database of known retinal disease states for clinical validation studies.

Institutional Review Board approval was secured to enable Tobin and ORNL colleagues Tom Karnowski and Priya Govindasamy to assemble a database of thousands of fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography images representing hundreds of diagnosed human patients and retinal diseases. "The dataset provided by Dr. Chaum documents the visual attributes of fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography imagery that are used to diagnose a wide range of pathologies," Tobin said. "This is a necessary step to support developing our statistical feature descriptions for image indexing, retrieval and diagnosis."

Tobin and Chaum expect this project to provide benefits not only for diagnosing and treating blinding diseases in broad-based population screening programs, but also for novel biomedical imaging and telemedicine. "With 180 million people worldwide either blind or at risk of becoming blind, this research has a chance to make a profound effect on people’s lives," Chaum said. "By developing a computer diagnosis system to improve early detection of eye disease by non-experts and through telemedicine, we can potentially treat or prevent up to 80 percent of blindness."

Funding for the project, which began in June 2004, is provided by ORNL’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. ORNL, which is managed by UT-Battelle, employs 1,500 scientists and engineers and is the Department of Energy’s largest multipurpose science and energy laboratory.

Ron Walli | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ornl.gov

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Getting electrons to move in a semiconductor

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Reconstructing what makes us tick

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials

25.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>