Innovation Award: Bubbles help visualize the blood vessels of tumors

The work of the laureates allows, with conventional systems, to generate images of the blood vessels in the tumors beyond the resolution diffraction limit by means of a new type of evaluation of the enhanced contrast ultrasound images. This facilitates the distinction between different types of tumors and helps to quickly determine the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

Trace microbubbles in the body

The researchers used ultrasound contrast agents used clinically, consisting of microbubbles. These gas bubbles, whose size does not exceed one micron, pass through the body with blood circulation and produce a so powerful echo signal during an ultrasound examination that even individual microbubbles on the body. image are visible in the form of light reflexes. Because of the resolution limit of ultrasonic devices, the microbubble is deployed a hundred times larger than it is. "However, we can determine the centers of the individual bubbles with a high degree of accuracy and thus close the position of the bubbles, if they are individually recognizable in the image," explains Stefanie Dencks.

Overcoming the resolution limit of ultrasound

A particular challenge for image processing is the ability to recognize and correctly assign the motion of many microbubbles that simultaneously traverse tumor vessels in video sequences. The result is an image representing the ship's structures at about ten times the resolution of conventional systems.

"We were able to show that high resolution images could be used to determine new functional and morphological parameters with which different types of tumors could be very well distinguished," says Tatjana Opacic. In his work, the researchers successfully tested the procedure in humans in three model cases. In cooperation with Prof. Dr. med. Elmar Stickeler, director of the Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinic at RWTH University Hospital in Aachen, was able to record tumor vessel reactions to chemotherapy in cancer patients breast.

The researchers spent the cash prizes for a symposium on "Super-resolution and Artificial Intelligence in Ultrasound Imaging" with young scientists.

original publication

Tatjana Opacic, Stefanie Dencks et al .: Ultrasonic localization microscopy with movement model for preclinical and clinical characterization of multiparameter tumors, in: Nature Communications, 2018, DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-018-03973-8

price of innovation

The Klee Family Charity Foundation awards each year the € 10,000 Innovation Award to a person or working group for outstanding scientific achievements that "allow, thanks to a new combination of medical and technical knowledge, cure diseases, improve their treatment or reduce the impact of the disease The founder of the foundation, Gerhard Klee.

Press contact

Dr. Stefanie Dencks
Chair of Medical Technology
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
Ruhr University in Bochum
Tel .: 0234 32 29508
E-mail: stefanie.dencks@rub.de

Dr. Tatjana Opacic c / o Prof. dr. Fabian Kiessling
Institute of Experimental Molecular Imaging
RWTH Aachen University Hospital
Phone: 0241 80 80117
E-mail: fkiessling@ukaachen.de

scientific contact:
Dr. Stefanie Dencks
Chair of Medical Technology
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
Ruhr University in Bochum
Tel .: 0234 32 29508
E-mail: stefanie.dencks@rub.de
Dr. Tatjana Opacic c / o Prof. dr. Fabian Kiessling
Institute of Experimental Molecular Imaging
RWTH Aachen University Hospital
Phone: 0241 80 80117
E-mail: fkiessling@ukaachen.de

Original publication:
Tatjana Opacic, Stefanie Dencks et al .: Ultrasonic localization microscopy with movement model for preclinical and clinical characterization of multiparameter tumors, in: Nature Communications, 2018, DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-018-03973-8

idw 2019/07