Will stereoscopic 3D imaging improve brain aneurysm diagnosis?
Award last edited on: 1/21/20

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
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Principal Investigator
Robert E Douglas

Company Information

D3D Technologies Inc

2431 Aloma Avenue Office 215
Winter Park, FL 32792
   (407) 681-7800

Research Institution

Stanford School of Medicine

Phase I

Contract Number: 1913380
Start Date: 7/1/19    Completed: 6/30/20
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
This SBIR Phase I project aims to focus on the challenges neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons experience when visualizing complex brain aneurysms. Brain aneurysms, which occur in 2-3% of the population, are balloon-like dilations of a blood vessel supplying the brain which may rupture and result in severe headaches, paralysis, coma and death. Currently, radiologists viewing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans use a 'slice-by-slice' approach to diagnose brain aneurysms and unfortunately with this approach, nearly one in ten brain aneurysms will be missed. Technologies that enhance perceptual interpretation of images will increase diagnostic accuracy. This NSF project aims to create a physiologically accurate 3D cognitive experience for the radiologist with the goal of increasing diagnostic accuracy of brain aneurysms. The broader significance is the application to other areas of medicine including heart imaging, cancer imaging and trauma, which account for the #1, #2 and #3 most common causes of death in the U.S. The proposed research is rooted in a small US based company and meets the NSF?s mission to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare. The accurate 3D cognitive experience developed for medicine meets NSF?s mission of progress of science, but has potential commercial impact in engineering, industry and education. This NSF project aims to create a physiologically accurate 3D cognitive experience for the neuroradiologist and neurosurgeon wherein the user can view exactly the structures of interest unhindered by other overlying tissues. This project aims to overcome the significant limitations of current imaging techniques. A typical magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) exam includes hundreds of cross-sectional slices. Conventional slice-by-slice viewing is arduous because the viewer has to sift through a series of image slices to mentally reconstruct the volumetric information relevant for detecting abnormalities. Volume rendering of a 3D image on 2D monitors is significantly limited due to overlap of structures in the foreground causing suboptimal visualization of deeper structures. Furthermore, volume rendering on 2D monitors does not actually recapitulate the physiologic eye-brain capture of a 3D image. The goal of this project is to achieve higher sensitivity, higher specificity and improved morphologic analysis using a physiologically accurate 3D cognitive experience compared to conventional viewing methods. Volunteer neuroradiology fellow participants will review MRA examinations using conventional methods and the physiologically accurate 3D experience developed in this NSF grant. Key outcomes of this project including diagnostic accuracy, time-to-detection, aneurysm conspicuity and aneurysm morphology will be assessed using the two techniques. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Phase II

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Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
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