Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

INEEL Researchers Develop Medical Imagery Breakthrough: System Detects Tissue Changes

Date:
August 12, 2003
Source:
Idaho National E & E Laboratory
Summary:
Mammograms, X-rays and other pricey medical scans do little good if doctors can't see the tiny changes that signal early stages of disease. But such warning signs are often too subtle to spot by eye, and too complex for computers to interpret. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory have developed the Change Detection System, technology that highlights slight differences between digital images.

Mammograms, X-rays and other pricey medical scans do little good if doctors can't see the tiny changes that signal early stages of disease. But such warning signs are often too subtle to spot by eye, and too complex for computers to interpret. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory have developed the Change Detection System, technology that highlights slight differences between digital images. In fact, lead researcher Greg Lancaster convinced doctors of the program's power when he used it to compare scans of his own brain after he'd had a tumor removed. One medical technology firm is already looking to license the program.

This medical advance is a direct result of applying national security technology, which was initiated through funding from the DOE's Applied Technology Program. The CDS software is so quick, easy and affordable that it now boasts a spot among the 100 most technologically significant products introduced in the past year. R&D Magazine editors notified the winners in July and will feature the winning products in the September issue.

Medical imaging often involves comparing side-by-side images to see if changes have emerged. But discerning minuscule differences between two pictures can be nearly impossible. Computers even struggle with the task, laboriously scrutinizing each pixel and often finding only trivial differences in camera angle.

In the past, the best technology available for comparing images has been the flip-flop technique, which capitalizes on the visual reflex that draws our eyes toward motion. Rapidly alternating between two similar digital images on a screen creates an animation effect where identical elements seem stationary and differences appear as movement. But the flip-flop approach requires that both pictures be shot from the exact same position using a mounted camera. Since stationary cameras are impractical in many cases, flip-flop comparisons are often impossible.

Now, the CDS technology developed by the INEEL's Lancaster, James Litton Jones and Gordon Lassahn combines the strengths of rote computer analysis with the powerful human reflex elicited by the flip-flop technique. The CDS program aligns images, to within a fraction of a pixel, from hand-held or otherwise imprecise cameras. The alignment compensates for differences in camera angle, height, zoom or other distractions that previously confounded flip-flop comparisons.

Flipping between two seemingly identical images aligned by CDS reveals once imperceptible differences--tiny retinal changes signal macular degeneration, small earthen shifts herald hill erosion, footprints appear in a gravel road. The alignment process takes only seconds and the software is simple enough to be operated by a 10-year-old child. What's more, the 350 KB program can operate on a standard PC or even a handheld computer.

Such versatility makes the program attractive to everyone from security guards to working parents, field researchers to physicians. Potential applications for this technology include surveillance (detect whether doors have been opened or cars have been moved), forensics (compare tire prints or fingerprints), national security (reveal tampering with container locks and seals), home security (divulge whether drawers or rooms were disturbed), and field research (monitor environmental changes). And the medical applications became clear to Lancaster as he grappled with a brain tumor during research for the CDS project.

After doctors removed the growth, they monitored Lancaster's brain with twice yearly MRI scans to make sure the tumor didn't return. As his physicians squinted at the images, searching for the tiniest change, Lancaster worried they might miss something.

"They just stare at them to try to find differences," said Lancaster. "I said, 'Man, that's so archaic,'" Lancaster decided to test his doctors' powers of perception with and without CDS.

"I took an image, altered it ever so slightly, brought in both pictures and said, 'Can you see a difference?' They looked at the two images and admitted, 'Well, no,'" Lancaster said. "But with the flip-flop method, it really pops out. They said, 'Wow! What a tool!'"

###

As CDS hits the marketplace, it joins 28 previous R&D 100 winners developed at INEEL in the last 18 years. This is the 7th year in a row that INEEL has won a spot in the R&D 100 ranking.

The INEEL is a science-based, multiprogram national laboratory dedicated to supporting the U.S. Department of Energy's missions in environment, energy, science and national defense. The INEEL is operated for the DOE by Bechtel BWXT Idaho, LLC.

Additional information on CDS, including photo illustrations, can be seen by visiting http://www.inel.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Idaho National E & E Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Idaho National E & E Laboratory. "INEEL Researchers Develop Medical Imagery Breakthrough: System Detects Tissue Changes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030812073352.htm>.
Idaho National E & E Laboratory. (2003, August 12). INEEL Researchers Develop Medical Imagery Breakthrough: System Detects Tissue Changes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030812073352.htm
Idaho National E & E Laboratory. "INEEL Researchers Develop Medical Imagery Breakthrough: System Detects Tissue Changes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030812073352.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins