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 Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

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: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>