The new technology has been developed jointly by teams headed by Prof Dr Georg Schmitz at the Chair for Medical Engineering at Ruhr-Universität Bochum and by Prof Dr Fabian Kiessling at the Institute for Experimental Molecular Imaging at the University Hospital Aachen. They published their report in the journal Nature Communications from April 18, 2018.
Monitoring microbubbles on their path through the body
The new technology called “Motion Model Ultrasound Localization Microscopy” is based on contrast medium-enhanced ultrasound images. Microbubbles are administered to patients as contrast agents: gas bubbles no larger than one micrometre that travel through the body in the bloodstream. In ultrasound images, they appear as shapeless white blobs. “Once the centre of each of these blobs has been identified, it’s possible to determine the location of individual bubbles,” explains Georg Schmitz.
Each bubble is given a name
Using algorithms originally developed for radar technology, the research team successfully monitored the motion of individual microbubbles. “We are currently attempting to teach the computer something that our eyes are able to do: namely read movement in a sequence of images in which a dot appears in different locations,” says Schmitz. To this end, the researchers gave each bubble
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