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STTR Phase I: Will stereoscopic 3D imaging improve brain aneurysm diagnosis?

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1913380
Agency Tracking Number: 1913380
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: DH
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-06-30
Small Business Information
United States
DUNS: 116712438
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Robert Douglas
 (407) 620-3596
Business Contact
 Robert Douglas
Phone: (407) 620-3596
Research Institution
 Stanford University School of Medicine
 David Douglas
Galvez House
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

This SBIR Phase I project aims to focus on the challenges neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons experience when visualizing complex brain aneurysms. Brain aneurysms, which occur in 2-3% of the population, are balloon-like dilations of a blood vessel supplying the brain which may rupture and result in severe headaches, paralysis, coma and death. Currently, radiologists viewing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans use a 'slice-by-slice' approach to diagnose brain aneurysms and unfortunately with this approach, nearly one in ten brain aneurysms will be missed. Technologies that enhance perceptual interpretation of images will increase diagnostic accuracy. This NSF project aims to create a physiologically accurate 3D cognitive experience for the radiologist with the goal of increasing diagnostic accuracy of brain aneurysms. The broader significance is the application to other areas of medicine including heart imaging, cancer imaging and trauma, which account for the #1, #2 and #3 most common causes of death in the U.S. The proposed research is rooted in a small US based company and meets the NSF?s mission to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare. The accurate 3D cognitive experience developed for medicine meets NSF?s mission of progress of science, but has potential commercial impact in engineering, industry and education. This NSF project aims to create a physiologically accurate 3D cognitive experience for the neuroradiologist and neurosurgeon wherein the user can view exactly the structures of interest unhindered by other overlying tissues. This project aims to overcome the significant limitations of current imaging techniques. A typical magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) exam includes hundreds of cross-sectional slices. Conventional slice-by-slice viewing is arduous because the viewer has to sift through a series of image slices to mentally reconstruct the volumetric information relevant for detecting abnormalities. Volume rendering of a 3D image on 2D monitors is significantly limited due to overlap of structures in the foreground causing suboptimal visualization of deeper structures. Furthermore, volume rendering on 2D monitors does not actually recapitulate the physiologic eye-brain capture of a 3D image. The goal of this project is to achieve higher sensitivity, higher specificity and improved morphologic analysis using a physiologically accurate 3D cognitive experience compared to conventional viewing methods. Volunteer neuroradiology fellow participants will review MRA examinations using conventional methods and the physiologically accurate 3D experience developed in this NSF grant. Key outcomes of this project including diagnostic accuracy, time-to-detection, aneurysm conspicuity and aneurysm morphology will be assessed using the two techniques. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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