SBIR Phase I: Acoustoelastic Tissue Property Evaluation of Selected Tissue Region in Dynamic Ultrasound Images

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1046478
Agency Tracking Number: 1046478
Amount: $148,482.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
437 S. Yellowstone Drive, Suite 210, Madison, WI, 53719-1061
DUNS: 801932315
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Hirohito Kobayashi
 (608) 217-2685
Business Contact
 Hirohito Kobayashi
Title: DPhil
Phone: (608) 217-2685
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes to develop a novel software technology for practical clinical use that can evaluate dynamic ultrasound images to accurately interpret changes or pathologies in soft tissues, such as tendons and ligaments. Today, a radiologist diagnoses most musculoskeletal diseases by observing static MRI or ultrasound images and considering key factors (thickness change, shape irregularity, image pixel intensity), that can support only qualitative, subjective assessments. Developing an objective, quantitative, reliable method of diagnosing soft tissue injuries and monitoring healing can lead to more accurate diagnoses and reduce re-injury of incompletely healed tissues. The proposed novel video image analysis software will capture ultrasound video signals from tendons and ligaments while they are being stretched, will both quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate the mechanical and functional properties of the affected tissues, and will then present the results in a clear, easy-to-interpret, color-coded display. This software application represents a breakthrough in non-invasive and objective musculoskeletal tissue characterization, and the expected outcome will be a successful region of interest tracking and deformation analysis algorithm and a product that can differentiate between tissue pathologies, like tendon tears and tendonitis, that are difficult to identify using current methods. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is that the proposed software application will greatly improve diagnoses obtained through standard ultrasound methods. There is a growing need for low-cost methods for providing objective diagnoses of strains and sprains, which account for 38% of the 16 million musculoskeletal treatment episodes annually, at the point of care. Recent improvements in ultrasound image quality, portability, and reduced price have created the opportunity to use ultrasound in a wide array of clinical applications. The major limitation blocking wider implementation is the field?s need for a user-friendly, objective method of analyzing results; currently, highly trained radiologists are needed to analyze ultrasound images. The proposed software, by providing clinicians (non-radiologists) with a tool both to diagnose soft tissue pathologies at the point of care, and to evaluate the progress of rehabilitation by periodically assessing the healing tissues, will be the first to market and will revolutionize the field. Enabling improved care by lower cost clinicians and potentially offering a substitute for high-cost MRI will benefit patients and society. The proposed technology will lead to additional innovations in the area of low-cost, quantitative characterization of biological and non-biological materials.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government