ANNEX 3.2 Research Overview & Collaborations

Since 1997, Dr. Stergiopoulos has initiated the development of a generic signal processing structure for multi-dimensional 1-D, 2-D & 3-D arrays of sensors that exploits processing concept similarities among sonar, radar and medical tomography imaging systems. This investigation has been documented in a Handbook on Advanced Signal processing, Theory and Implementation for Sonar, Radar and Medical Imaging Systems, published by CRC-Press. The novelty of this generic structure is that it allows implementation and testing of adaptive, synthetic aperture and tomography imaging processing schemes in a wide spectrum of real time system applications. This R&D effort was supported with a total of $11 million funding from private investors, the TIF Program of the Defence R&D Canada (DRDC), NSERC, the Ontario Challenge Fund (ORDCF), NATO and the European Commission EC-IST Funding Program.

The last 6 years, (i.e. 2000 – present) system oriented applications for the above generic signal processing structure included system implementation in 3D ultrasound systems deploying linear, planar, cylindrical and spherical arrays of sensors and for motion correction in CT & MRI tomography imaging systems. The ultrasound development effort to implement 3D adaptive beamforming for ultrasound systems deploying planar phased array probes with 16x16-sensors has received grants totaling $2 million by DRDC, NSERC Grants and by the EC-IST program for the EC-IST-2001-34088 ADUMS project.

Moreover, the same signal processing technology formed the core development for European Canadian collaborative projects supported by the European Commission Grants #26764-New Roentgen, EC-IST-1999-10618 MITTUG, EC-IST-2000-28168 MRI-MARCB, EC-IST-2001-34088 ADUMS. The funding level for each one of the above projects was in the range of 1.5 to 2.0 million Euro. The partners of the above European Canadian project consortiums under the technical directions of Dr. Stergiopoulos were the well known Industrial and Academic Institutes, Fraunhofer, Philips, Siemens (Germany), ESAOTE (Italy), ATMEL (Italy), NTUA (Greece), QinetiQ (UK), DDRE (Denmark), TNO (Netherlands).

Dr. Stergiopoulos’ technology innovations are defined in the list of patents [P1 –P14], owned by his employer DRDC Toronto. The technology basis of these system innovations are in the field of Non-Invasive Medical Diagnostic Applications for low cost system alternatives that include very sophisticated software embedded in simple hardware computing architectures, which define the following medical non-invasive diagnostic system applications:

  • Blood Pressure Monitoring Devices [J8, 1, P5-P7, P11], providing non-invasive accurate monitoring of blood pressure and heart rate by using adaptive noise cancellation that allows their operation in noise intense environments such as aboard helicopters, ambulances, hospital emergency departments, naval vessels, airplanes, medical clinics

  • Thermography Intracranial Devices [J6, P8] providing non-invasive monitoring of brain core temperature using microwave antenna technology.

  • Intracranial Ultrasound Devices [P14] providing non-invasive monitoring of brain injuries and stroke using simple concepts of ultrasound technology.

  • Interference Free Wireless UWV Devices [P13] an Ultra Wide Band Wireless (UWB) Technology with capabilities to operate with minimum interference effects in strong Electromagnetic Field Environments

  • Cardiac Motion Correction x-ray CT Software [J10, J11, P1, P2, P10] adaptive motion tracking & correction to remove motion artifacts in CT and MRI cardiac imaging applications.

  • Portable 3D Ultrasound Software [10, 11, P3, P4] adaptive 3D ultrasound beamformers that provide improved system performance with high-image resolution at very low cost and with minimum hardware complexity.

Although the above non-invasive diagnostic system innovations cover both areas of,

  • Advanced Next Generation Medical 4D (3-Dimensional + Temporal) Tomography Imaging Modalities (i.e. CT, MRI , Ultrasound)

  • Non-Invasive Monitoring of Vital Signs,

their technology base is the same and consist of Dr. Stergiopoulos’ advanced signal processing structure [B1] that enhances the information of interest by suppressing noisy interferences and their project summary is shown in the following section: