A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

TechniScan (Salt Lake City) reported receiving a $2.8 million small business innovative research (SBIR) grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to support further development and preclinical testing of the company's UltraSound CT imaging system (USCT).

The system is intended to aid in diagnosing breast cancer in conjunction with traditional mammography by providing detailed information about the anatomy and tissue properties of the breast in ways not previously possible. The goal of the USCT is to characterize the ultrasound properties of normal, benign and malignant tissues in the breast, which could enable physicians and radiologists to recognize cancer more easily, according to the company.

The technology uses mathematical calculations, both inverse scattering transmission and advanced reflection algorithms, to produce 3-D images that represent the physical structures of the breast and how those structures relate to each other. The process provides information about characteristics of body tissue unavailable to physicians and radiologists in the past, TechniScan said. The NIH grant, which will be disbursed in two phases, will fund R&D and testing of the technology.

The tasks for Phase I, the design of technical improvements to TechniScan's prototype UltraSound CT Imaging System, are expected to be complete by early 2007. In Phase II TechniScan will produce two copies of the improved UltraSound CT imaging system for preclinical testing at the University of California San Diego (La Jolla, California) and at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota), the company said, adding that testing of the prototypes is scheduled to begin in late 2007 into early 2008.

TechniScan is a private company that grew out of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City).