David Kirkpatrick

February 4, 2010

Medical imaging and art forgery

A lesson on applying technology across entire disciplines. Usually the cutting edge of imaging tech is found in medicine for obvious reasons, but that same tech can be applied in other fields to sometimes startling effect.

The release:

Imaging method for eye disease used to eye art forgeries

IMAGE: The oil painting on the left fluoresces to reveal hidden details (right) when exposed to a new noninvasive imaging technique that uses ultraviolet light.

Click here for more information.

Scientists in Poland are describing how a medical imaging technique has taken on a second life in revealing forgery of an artist’s signature and changes in inscriptions on paintings that are hundreds of years old. A report on the technique, called optical coherence tomography (OCT), is in ACS’ Accounts of Chemical Research, a monthly journal.

Piotr Targowski notes that easel paintings prepared according to traditional techniques consist of multiple layers. The artist, for instance, first applies a glue sizing over the canvas to ensure proper adhesion of later layers. Those layers may include an outline of the painting, the painting itself, layers of semitransparent glazes, and finally transparent varnish. Art conservators and other experts resort to a variety of technologies to see below the surface and detect changes, including forged signatures and other alterations in a painting. But those approaches may damage artistic treasures or not be sensitive enough to detect finer details.

The scientists describe how OCT, used to produce three-dimensional images of the layers of the retina of the eye, overcomes those difficulties. They used OCT to analyze two oil paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries. In one, “Saint Leonard of Porto Maurizio,” OCT revealed evidence that the inscription “St. Leonard” was added approximately fifty years after completion of the painting. In the other, “Portrait of an unknown woman,” OCT found evidence of the possible of forgery of the artist’s signature.


“Structural Examination of Easel Paintings with Optical Coherence Tomography”


April 23, 2009

Medical wii?

Filed under: et.al., Media, Science — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:43 pm

Looks like it. The wii is a very cool console platform and I wouldn’t be surprised if more applications beyond gaming are explored.

The release:

For Release: April 23, 2009

Popular Gaming System May Offer Radiologists an Alternative Way to View Patient Images

The popular Wii gaming remote may offer radiologists a fun, alternative method to using a standard mouse and keyboard to navigate through patient images, according to a study performed at the New-York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, NY. The remote may also offer radiologists relief from repetitive motion injuries as a result of using a mouse and keyboard.

“We have developed a new fun and exciting way for radiologists to navigate through patient images using hand movements instead of basic keyboard and mouse clicks,” said Cliff Yeh, MD, Matthew Amans, MD, and George Shih, MD, lead authors of the study. “The device from the Nintendo Wii gaming system has both an infrared sensor and an accelerometer, which when used together, can allow for flexible ways to interact with radiology images,” they said.

“All the basic features that a radiologist routinely requires can be performed using the hand held device. For this study, new software for viewing radiology images which interfaces with the Wii remote was developed in conjunction with computer scientists Lu Zheng and Michael Brown, PhD, both from the National University of Singapore, in Singapore and both co-authors of the study,” according to Drs. Yeh, Amans and Shih.

“The traditional keyboard mouse user interface limits the way a radiologist can interpret images and manage an ever increasing workload. The Wii remote may alleviate those limitations. In addition repetitive motion injuries may be mitigated by altering usage between a device like the Wii remote and the traditional mouse because they use different sets of muscles. Small movements can manipulate the image on the screen and buttons can change windows and move between different series’. It is a lot more flexible than just a simple mouse,” they said.

“The Wii remote along with the software the authors developed is currently just a prototype and is not FDA approved for clinical use. We are constantly updating the software,” said Dr. Shih, senior author of the study. “We can only hope that in the next twenty years the mouse and keyboard will be replaced by something like the Wii remote,” said Drs. Yeh, Amans and Shih.

This study will be presented at the 2009 ARRS Annual Meeting in Boston, MA, on Monday, April 27. For a copy of the full study, please contact Heather Curry via email at hcurry@arrs.org.

About ARRS

The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was founded in 1900 and is the oldest radiology society in the United States. Its monthly journal, the American Journal of Roentgenology, began publication in 1906. Radiologists from all over the world attend the ARRS annual meeting to participate in instructional courses, scientific paper presentations and scientific and commercial exhibits related to the field of radiology. The Society is named after the first Nobel Laureate in Physics, Wilhelm Röentgen, who discovered the x-ray in 1895. ###

March 7, 2009

Nanotech medical imaging breakthrough

More medical nanotechnology news. Better medical imaging (CTs, MRIs, et.al.) means better diagnosis and treatment.

The release:

UConn chemists find secret to increasing luminescence efficiency of carbon nanotubes

Breakthrough procedure has potential applications in medical imaging, homeland security, biological sensors

STORRS, Conn. – Chemists at the University of Connecticut have found a way to greatly increase the luminescence efficiency of single-walled carbon nanotubes, a discovery that could have significant applications in medical imaging and other areas.

Increasing the luminescence efficiency of carbon nanotubes may someday make it possible for doctors to inject patients with microscopic nanotubes to detect tumors, arterial blockages and other internal problems. Rather than relying on potentially harmful x-rays or the use of radioactive dyes, physicians could simply scan patients with an infrared light that would capture a very sharp resolution of the luminescence of the nanotubes in problem areas.

UConn’s process of increasing the luminescence efficiency of single-walled carbon nanotubes will be featured in Science magazine on Friday, March 6, 2009. The research was performed in the Nanomaterials Optoelectronics Laboratory at the Institute of Materials Science at the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, CT. A patent for the process is pending.

University of Connecticut Chemist Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos describes the discovery as a major breakthrough and one of the most significant discoveries in his 10 years of working with single-walled carbon nanotubes. Assisting Papadimitrakopoulos with the research were Polymer Program graduate student Sang-Yong Ju (now a researcher at Cornell University) and William P. Kopcha, a former Chemistry undergraduate assistant in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who is now a first-year graduate student at UConn.

Although carbon is used in many diverse applications, scientists have long been stymied by the element’s limited ability to emit light. The best scientists have been able to do with solution-suspended carbon nanotubes was to raise their luminescence efficiency to about one-half of one percent, which is extremely low compared to other materials, such as quantum dots and quantum rods.

By tightly wrapping a chemical ‘sleeve’ around a single-walled carbon nanotube, Papadimitrakopoulos and his research team were able to reduce exterior defects caused by chemically absorbed oxygen molecules.

This process can best be explained by imagining sliding a small tube into a slightly larger diameter tube, Papadimitrakopoulos says. In order for this to happen, all deposits or protrusions on the smaller tube have to be removed before the tube is allowed to slip into the slightly larger diameter tube. What is most fascinating with carbon nanotubes however, Papadimitrakopoulos says, is the fact that in this case the larger tube is not as rigid as the first tube (i.e. carbon nanotube) but is rather formed by a chemical “sleeve” comprised of a synthetic derivative of flavin (an analog of vitamin B2) that adsorbs and self organizes onto a conformal tube.

Papadimitrakopoulos claims that this process of self-assembly is unique in that it not only forms a new structure but also actively “cleans” the surface of the underlying nanotube. It is that active cleaning of the nanotube surface that allows the nanotube to achieve luminescence efficiency to as high as 20 percent.


NOTE: To see a QuickTime animation of how a single-walled carbon nanotube is wrapped with the synthetic flavin derivative to increase its luminescence go to: http://www.ims.uconn.edu/~papadim/research.htm

“The nanotube is the smallest tube on earth and we have found a sleeve to put over it,” Papadimitrakopoulos says. “This is the first time that a nanotube was found to emit with as much as 20 percent luminescence efficiency.”

Papadimitrakopoulos has been working closely with the UConn Center for Science and Technology Commercialization (CSTC) in transferring his advances in research into the realm of patents, licenses and corporate partnerships. The CSTC was created several years ago as a way to help expand Connecticut’s innovation-based economy and to help create new businesses and jobs around new ideas.

This is the second major nanotube discovery at UConn by Papadimitrakopoulos in the past two years. Last year, Papadimitrakopoulos and Sang-Young Ju, along with other UConn researchers, patented a way to isolate certain carbon nanotubes from others by seamlessly wrapping a form of vitamin B2 around the nanotubes. It was out of that research that Papadimitrakopoulos and Sang-Yong Ju began wrapping nanotubes with helical assemblies and probing their luminescence properties.

The more luminescent the nanotube, the brighter it appears under infrared irradiation or by electrical excitation (such as that provided by a light-emitting diode or LED). A number of important applications may be possible as a result of this research, Papadimitrakopoulos says. Carbon nanotube emissions are not only extremely sharp, but they also appear in a spectral region where minimal absorption or scattering takes place by soft tissue. Moreover, carbon nanotubes display superb photo bleaching stability and are ideally suited for near-infrared emitters, making them appropriate for applications in medicine and homeland security as bio-reporting agents and nano-sized beacons. Carbon nanotube luminescence also has important applications in nano-scaled LEDs and photo detectors, which can readily integrate with silicon-based technology. This provides an enormous repertoire for nanotube use in advanced fiber optics components, infrared light modulators, and biological sensors, where multiple applications are possible due to the nanotube’s flavin-based (vitamin B2) helical wrapping.




A complete copy of the research article that will appear in Science magazine on Friday, March 6, will be available after 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 5 at: http://www.sciencemag.org/sciencexpress/recent.dtl

More information about the University of Connecticut’s Nanomaterials Optoelectronics Laboratory can be found at: http://chemistry.uconn.edu/papadim/index.htm
Photo available at: http://dropbox.uconn.edu/dropbox?n=Papadim.zip&p=Wwe748VCBRIWDUDwv

October 2, 2008

Electrons and nuclei …

… are you ready for your close-up?

From the link:

Providing a glimpse into the infinitesimal, physicists have found a novel way of spying on some of the universe’s tiniest building blocks.Their “camera,” described this week in the journal Nature, consists of a special “flaw” in diamonds that can be manipulated into sensitively monitoring magnetic signals from individual electrons and atomic nuclei placed nearby.

The new work represents a dramatic sharpening of the basic approach used in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which ascertain chemical structures and image inside human bodies by scanning the magnetic activity of billions of individual nuclei. The new diamond-based magnetic sensor could enable novel forms of imaging, marrying NMR’s noninvasive nature with atomic-scale spatial resolution, potentially benefiting fields ranging from materials science, spintronics, and quantum information to structural biology, neuroscience, and biomedicine.

May 1, 2008

Cheaper solar, “erasable” printer paper and medical imaging simplification

Nice group from KurzweilAI.net today. News that solar is coming down in price, “erasable” printer paper, and a simplification for sending medical imaging data.

A Price Drop for Solar Panels
Technology Review, May 1, 2008

A shortage of the silicon used in solar panels is almost over, industry analysts predict. This could lead to a sharp drop in prices over the next couple of years, making solar electricity comparable to power from the grid.

Added silicon production capacity is now starting to begin operations. While only 15,000 tons of silicon were available for use in solar cells in 2005, by 2010, this number could grow to 123,000 tons. And that will allow existing and planned production of solar panels to ramp up, increasing supply and reducing prices.

Prices for solar panels could drop by as much as 50 percent from 2006 to 2010. In areas that get a lot of sun, that will translate to solar electricity costs of about 10 cents per kilowatt hour, matching the average price of electricity in the United States.

Read Original Article>>


Xerox touts erasable paper, smart documents
Computerworld, April 29, 2008

Xerox has developed paper that can be reused after printed text automatically deletes itself from the paper’s surface within 24 hours.

A single piece of paper can be reused up to 100 times for black and white printing. The paper contains specially coded molecules that create a print after being exposed to ultraviolet light emitted from a thin bar in a printer. The molecule readjusts itself within 24 hours to its original form to delete the print, or heat can readjust the molecule instantly.

Xerox scientists also demonstrated technologies to make documents more intelligent by providing a deeper meaning to text and images. This is done by cross-referencing similar data and images mined off the Internet and incorporating other sources like e-mail messages and corporate networks.

Read Original Article>>


Cellphones used for medical imaging?
ZDNET, April 30, 2008

University of California at Berkeley researchers have developed a technique for transmitting medical images via cellphones.

The cell phone, hooked up to the data acquisition device(breast tomoography sensor, xray or MRI machine, etc.), would transmit the raw data to a central server, where the information would be used to create an image. The server would then relay a highly compressed image back to the cell phone, where the doctor could view it on the cell phone screen.

The system makes medical imaging much cheaper and more accessible to the poor because the apparatus at the patient site is greatly simplified, and there is no need for personnel highly trained in imaging processing.


Read Original Article>>