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 PET imaging tracks Zika virus infection, disease progression in mouse model
20.09.2017 | US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

nachricht 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton

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: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>