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Shedding Light on the Nervous System
Capitalizing on Opportunities in Medical Imaging
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Available Technologies

For information on technology available for licensing or commercialization, awards, or project information, please contact the CCTRP program leadership and we would be pleased to answer any questions you may have. This is a partial list, so please feel free to contact the team to learn more about these or additional opportunities.

Here is a link to setup an easy 30 min phone call:


Sickle cell disease biochip blood-cell adhesion test for emerging anti-adhesive therapies

Umut Gurkan, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Jane Little, professor of medicine in the Department of Hematology and Oncology

Sickle cell disease biochip technology is a new microfluidic blood test that measures the stickiness of blood cells to blood vessel walls. This new blood test can be used as a companion diagnostic test platform for emerging anti-adhesive therapies to allow effective, personalized treatment and care for patients living with sickle cell disease.


3-D ultrasound imaging for ophthalmology

Faruk Orge, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the School of Medicine and pediatric division chief of ophthalmology at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center; and David Wilson, professor of biomedical engineering

Illustration of high-resolution, 3D microscopic ultrasound systemThis technology will be the first high-resolution, 3-D microscopic ultrasound system to provide novel visualizations of eye structures to better understand pathophysiology, plan treatments and assess treatment results. Ultrasound is an effective ophthalmic imaging method that allows structures behind the iris, including the lens and ciliary body, as well as key portions of the aqueous outflow system, to be seen. This region of the eye plays a critical role in glaucoma—which affects over 2.7 million people in the United States alone—and cataract, which are leading causes of reversible and irreversible blindness.


LunIOTx: decision-support technology for predicting response to immunotherapy in lung cancer

Anant Madabhushi, the F. Alex Nason Professor II of biomedical engineering and director of the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics

LunIOTx is a non-invasive decision-support technology that uses patented artificial intelligence and pattern recognition algorithms on routine CT scans to identify lung cancer patients who will or will not respond to immunotherapy. By identifying patterns on CT scans associated with response, LunIOTx can enable early identification of lung cancer patients in whom expensive immunotherapy can be avoided and who might be better candidates for chemo or radiation therapy.


Magneto-optical diagnosis of Lyme disease in blood samples

Brian Grimberg, assistant professor of international health at the School of Medicine; and Umut Gurkan, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering

There is an expanding need for a reliable diagnosis to identify and treat more than 300,000 people potentially infected with Lyme disease in the United States. Iron-labeled antibodies attach to the Borrelia bacteria, which makes it responsive to a magnetic field and can yield a result in five minutes, as opposed to weeks. More importantly, the technology functions immediately after exposure to an infected tick instead of having to wait a month for the current test. This early detection can lead to an early cure instead of patients languishing for years without an effective treatment.


Magnetic resonance fingerprinting for target identification in deep brain stimulation

Cameron McIntyre, the Tilles-Weidenthal Professor of biomedical engineering; and Mark Griswold, professor of radiology

The goal of this project is to develop a clinical workflow and computational algorithm that enables integration of advanced MI acquisitions, known as magnetic resonance fingerprinting, into surgical targeting strategies for deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapies. The inventors are developing their prototype system around subthalamic nucleus DBS for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.


Novel positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agent for tumor detection and treatment

Susann Brady-Kalnay; professor of molecular biology and microbiology; and James Basilion, professor of radiology biomedical engineering and pathology.

Specific tumor detection is critically important in cancer imaging to avoid unnecessary biopsies to exclude false-positive findings and to allow treatment—or redirection of treatment—at earlier stages of the disease. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging agents that specifically recognize tumor cells are necessary for improved imaging and subsequent evaluation of therapeutic efficacy independent of their metabolic rates. PTPµ is a novel imageable biomarker that can be used to specifically and more comprehensively detect and monitor aggressive invasive and metastatic tumors.


LunIRiS: Decision support tool for lung nodule risk prediction on screening CT

Anant Madabhushi, the F. Alex Nason Professor II of biomedical engineering; and Robert Gilkeson, professor of radiology.

Each year, more than 20 million patients in the United States undergo a chest computer tomography (CT) exam. In nearly half of these exams, a pulmonary nodule will be identified.

While most of these nodules are benign, it is difficult to distinguish them from nodules that require treatment. As a result, many patients unnecessarily undergo more invasive diagnostic procedures, including surgical wedge resection.

The team’s novel technology, LunIRiS, is a computerized decision-support technology for use in conjunction with routine chest CT scans to reduce the high false-positive diagnostic rate associated with lung nodules. The technology could greatly reduce the number of unnecessary invasive diagnostic procedures. With advanced computational image-analytic and machine-learning tools, LunIRiS provides a risk score for improved quantitative assessment of lung nodules and has been shown to improve the diagnostic accuracy of human readers.


Point-of-care device for monitoring and diagnosis of oral cancer

Aaron Weinberg, associate dean for research, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences and professor; Umut Gurkan, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Santosh Ghosh, senior research associate.

Oral cancer kills thousands in the United States and hundreds of thousands worldwide. Early detection is key to improved survival. Oral cancer is now diagnosed by tissue biopsy, followed by pathology review.

But biopsies are expensive, painful, can cause complications and are impractical, should monitoring be required.

The team’s novel technology builds on a recent discovery that the two proteins produced in early stages of oral cancer change their ratios in cancerous cells, and that the ratio could be used as a non-invasive diagnostic tool. The researchers have developed a point-of-care microfluidic device which, when connected to a smartphone, obtains ratio results within 15 minutes.

Advantages include the ability to: non-invasively swab and diagnose a lesion for cancer while the patient waits; determine if a biopsy is necessary; permit pre-malignant lesions to be monitored; perform the test in any dental or ear, nose and throat clinic as part of oral health check-up; and obtain results at one-tenth the cost of a biopsy and pathology review.


Minimally invasive direct current nerve block

Tina Vrabec, research assistant professor; Elias Veizi, assistant professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine; Niloy Bhadra, research assistant professor of biomedical engineering; Jesse Wainright, research professor of chemical engineering.

Inadequately addressed post-operative pain is a common precursor to chronic pain, which can lead to opioid addition.

The team’s novel technology uses minimally invasive direct current to block a nerve electrically. As compared to pharmaceuticals, this nerve block provides a focused block—without side effects—that can be applied and removed instantly and can be personalized for each patient.


Polarization-sensitive OCT (PSOCT) image guidance for RFA therapy of atrial fibrillation

Andrew Rollins, professor of biomedical engineering and medicine; and Mauricio Arruda, associate professor of medicine.

According to the American Heart Association, atrial fibrillation affects between 2.7 and 6.1 million people.

Though medical therapy is the first option, ablation therapy can be curative, although the success rate is not ideal. More than half of patients who receive ablation therapy will require additional ablation procedures, and about 35 percent will never be fully cured. Cardiac ablation requires a high level of skill and training.

Electrophysiologists don’t have real-time guidance at the catheter tip to identify critical substrates and structures to target or avoid, to assess catheter-tissue contact or to monitor the completeness of a lesion or avoid complications.

The team’s novel technology incorporates optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging at the catheter tip, which could improve the acute success rate, reduce recurrences, procedure time and complications and improve safety.


Point-of-care device for diagnosis of cystic fibrosis in newborns

Miklos Gratzl, associate professor of biomedical engineering; and James Chmiel, associate professor of pediatrics.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is diagnosed in one of every 2,300 live births, making it the most prevalent genetic disease in the United States, Europe and Austral-Asia.

CF is a recessive genetic disease that manifests in a defective chloride channel in epithelial cells that line internal organs. This leads to the secretion of abnormally viscous mucus with high chloride content that causes severe and life-threatening illness. The earlier CF is diagnosed, the better the patient’s quality of life, life expectancy and potential for reduced health-care costs.

The team’s novel technology promises to detect the presence of the disease in newborns at 2 weeks old, which would allow early treatment and more promising clinical outcomes.


Oropharynx appliance to maintain airway patency

Dominique Durand, the Elmer Lincoln Lindseth Professor in Biomedical Engineering; and Kingman Strohl, professor of physiology and biophysics.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) negatively impacts the health of millions of Americans, and the problem continues to grow. Sleep apnea is often cited among areas to address to reduce health-care spending and improve chronic disease management.

Non-invasive treatment options have been effective, but patients often choose to not use them because they’re uncomfortable and inconvenient.

The team’s novel technology is a device to treat OSA in a form expected to deliver much higher patient compliance. The project aims to test the new design for the treatment of OSA.

The device will be first tested in five patients for compliance in a home setting, and then undergo sleep tests at night to determine the device’s effectiveness at reducing the apnea-hypopnea index.


Plant virus-like particle-based cancer immunotherapy

Nicole Steinmetz, Julian Kim

The researchers developed an “in situ vaccination” strategy to treat metastatic cancer, using a nanoparticle formed by the protein components of a plant virus. Direct administration of the therapeutic nanoparticle into identified tumors triggers a tumor-specific immune response, eradicating the treated tumor as well as distal metastatic sites. Immune memory protects patients from outgrowth of metastatic disease or recurrence. Support from CTTRP will provide a framework toward translation from preclinical models to clinical evaluation.


CorCalDx: dual energy X-ray coronary calcium scoring

David Wilson; Robert Gilkeson

This software enables fast and high throughput detection of coronary calcium using the commonly ordered dual-energy chest X-ray exams. An excellent biomarker for coronary artery disease, coronary calcium scoring has long been assessed using expensive computed tomography. As the chest X-ray is the most common medical imaging procedure by far, CorCalDx will help radiologists screen for coronary calcium and identify coronary artery disease risk with little or no additional cost or radiation.