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Digital imaging software to create a 'Google Earth' view of the bladder
Date:5/16/2011

here's a potential with this technology to semi-automate or fully automate the examination," said Dr. Michael Porter, a UW assistant professor of urology. "It's a few years down the road, at least, but the potential is there."

The current user interface projects the reconstructed organ onto a spherical ball or onto a flat map. The resulting mosaic matches the images to a single pixel of accuracy. Ultimately, the digital display would incorporate all the original frames, so a doctor could zoom in on an area of interest and observe from all angles at the highest resolution.

"Essentially, I want to give urologists a Google Earth view of the bladder," said co-author Timothy Soper, a UW research scientist in mechanical engineering. "As you move the mouse over the 3-D surface it would show the individual frame showing exactly where that image came from. So you could have the forest and the trees."

Reviewing the resulting panoramic image would likely require less of the urologist's time than performing a manual inspection.

At the meeting, Porter will present the software and the user interface, as well as preliminary results of 3-D panoramas from a commercially available endoscope inserted into a painted glass bulb, a stained pig bladder and a normal human bladder.

The UW software could be used with any endoscope, though the team sees particular benefit in combining it with its flexible endoscope. The UW scope is just 1.5 mm wide, about half the size of its smallest competitor (most bladder scopes are as thick as a pencil, while the UW's is like a strand of angel hair pasta with a tip the size of a grain of rice). It captures finer-grained images than existing flexible endoscopes. The tiny size is possible because of a novel design that swings a single optical fiber back and forth to scan a color image pixel by pixel.

The tip of the UW device will contain a steering mechanism that directs the movement of the scope during the internal exam.


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Contact: Hannah Hickey
hickeyh@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

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