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New York, NY, United States

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 857.86K | Year: 2010


Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2013

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project has as its long range objective development of a portable and non-invasive ocean-ready ultrasound device for measuring dolphin bone mineral density (BMD), as a means for assessing and monitoring dolphin and ecosystem health. At present there is no way to assess bone health in dolphins in managed or in free-ranging populations. The specific objectives of this project are (i) to determine the BMD associated with an extensive set of archived skeletal samples from stranded bottlenose dolphins across a range of geographically distinct populations and obtain a set of normative BMD curves versus age, according to gender and other individual-specific morphometric features; (ii) to determine a functional relationship between age and BMD and other individual-specific features; and (iii) to develop an ultrasound method and laboratory system capable of accurately estimating dolphin BMD. X-ray densitometry will be used to determine the BMD of the dolphin radii, and computer simulated and in vitro ultrasound measurements will be used to determine a set of ultrasound parameters. An ultrasound based-estimate of BMD will be established, and the degree to which BMD and morphometric measurements can estimate dolphin age (a key aspect of understanding dolphin/marine ecosystem health) will be established.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is in its potential for managing and dealing with changes in the ecosystem such as through climate change and from exposure to contaminants. The proposed technology therefore has the potential for significantly expanding the ability of the scientific community to assess not only dolphin but overall marine ecosystem health. In addition, an ultrasonically determined value of BMD that could further be used to estimate dolphin age would have significant and additional commercial value worldwide. This value will be realized by marketing a commercial ultrasound product and by offering a commercial service to marine ecosystem health assessment groups. The degree to which the understanding of dolphin and ecosystem health may be positively impacted by the ultrasound technology to be developed in this project cannot be understated. As already noted, there is virtually little if anything presently known about bone properties of dolphins, how they may change over time, and how they may reflect changing climates and contaminants in the oceans. This research may also have analogous significant impacts on the health assessments of other aquatic mammals, such as sea lions and whales. In addition, the USB-based portable ultrasound technology developed in this project should also have large commercial value in the field of non-destructive testing.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2007

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term objective of this research is to establish ultrasound as a safe, effective, and non-invasive method for assessing fracture risk, an important component in clinical management of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis afflicts over 20 million people in the U.S., responsible for more than 275,000 hip fractures annually. Currently, the primary means for assessment relies on densitometric techniques. These methods subject the patient to ionizing radiation, are relatively e xpensive, and do not always provide good estimates of bone strength. Ultrasound offers several potential advantages. It is non-ionizing and relatively inexpensive. Moreover, since ultrasound is a mechanical wave and interacts with bone in a fundamentally d ifferent manner than electromagnetic radiation, it may be able to provide more accurate estimates of bone strength and fracture risk compared with current densitometric methods. The goal of this research is to develop a new ultrasound system for bone asses sment that is not only accurate but also highly reproducible. The system will use the distal forearm as a site of measurement and employ a novel array based parametric signal processing approach which is ideally suited for obtaining high levels of precisio n. This research should enable the widespread detection of osteoporosis and fracture risk, and will find application not only in the U.S. but worldwide as well. The specific aims in Phase I of this Fast-Track SBIR grant application are to develop a new arr ay-based system for assessing bone in the distal forearm. This will be achieved using computer simulations of ultrasound wave propagation through a set of forearm bones that have been imaged using micro-CT. Following demonstration of feasibility in Phase I , Phase II will then develop a prototype device and test it in a clinical study. The ultimate goal in Phase III is to then commercialize this novel desktop device and to bring it into worldwide use for a simple, safe and effective instrument for fracture r isk assessment. As stated by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans or 55 percent of the people 50 years of age and older. In the U.S., 10 million individuals are estimated t o already have the disease and almost 34 million more are estimated to have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. While osteoporosis is often thought of as an older person's disease, it can strike at any age. Osteoporosis is respo nsible for more than 1.5 million fractures annually, including over 300,000 hip fractures and approximately 700,000 vertebral fractures and 250,000 wrist fractures. Notwithstanding these facts, osteoporosis is under-recognized and under-treated. The propos ed research should enable bone testing to be done conveniently and safely in a primary care setting. This should lead to earlier detection and treatment and ultimately to reductions in the number of fractures.

CyberLogic, Inc. | Date: 2015-01-13

A method and system for quantitatively evaluating bone fracture risk in a living being are provided that generate a value for an index indicative of a degree of bone fracture risk. In one embodiment, the method includes the step of acquiring values for a height H, a weight W, and a bone mineral density BMD of the living being. The method further includes the step of calculating a quantitative bone fracture risk index QI associated with the living being in accordance with the formula QI=H

CyberLogic, Inc. | Date: 2015-01-12

An ultrasound measurement device and related method for ultrasonic measurement are provided. In one embodiment the device includes a first a first ultrasound transducer and a second ultrasound transducer spaced from the first ultrasound transducer and configured to receive a plurality of ultrasound signals transmitted from the first ultrasound transducer through a fixed object. The device further includes means for moving the first and second ultrasound transducers together relative to the object over an area of the object in a first direction, the first ultrasound transducer generating an ultrasound signal of the plurality of ultrasound signals at each of a plurality of locations within the area. In this manner, the device achieves the functionality of array transducers with transducers having fewer transducer elements.

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