The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Germany’s top universities and is characterized by a unique profile with its core domains natural sciences, engineering, life sciences, and medicine. The institutional strategy is focused on strengthening the excellence of disciplinary core competences in research, teaching and learning, but is also targeted towards the promotion of groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research. TUM is committed toward the major challenges facing society in the 21st century in areas such as energy, climate, and environment, natural resources, health and nutrition, communication and information, mobility, and infrastructure. Besides research and teaching, TUM inspires and pro-actively empowers its students, academics, and alumni to think and act entrepreneurially. It initiates growth oriented start-ups and assists its entrepreneurs in building new companies (TUM Entrepreneurship).
TUM enters INNODERM with a dual capacity, this of an co-ordinator and also of engineering strengths applied to dermatology, as also manifested by the generation of the new interdisciplinary Innovation center TRANSLATUM, which is dedicated in bringing engineering excellence to medicine. Under TRANSLATUM, TUM provides to INNODERM an established collaboration, this between the Chairs of Biological Imaging (CBI: Prof. Ntziachristos) and Dermatology (Prof. Biedermann). Driven in this proposal in particular by the Institute for Biological & Medical Imaging (IBMI) – a joined venture of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU) and TRANSLATUM, a bridging Institute between Engineering and Medicine, TUM provides world-leading research expertise and infrastructure to INNODERM in particular in the fields of medical imaging / optoacoustics and dermatology research and clinical practice.
Principal Investigator: Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos
Project manager: Dr. Julia Niefnecker
SONAXIS is a French ultrasound probe manufacturer, founded in 2002, specialized in phased array and high frequency ultrasound probe. In 2010, SONAXIS has acquired a small company dedicated to electronic acquisition hardware that now allows it to propose complete ultrasound solution.
SONAXIS has been involved in the high frequency ultrasound domain since the beginning of its activity. It is a domain where the technological expertise is very rare and very few players exist.
Nevertheless, SONAXIS believes in the future of the high frequency imaging application with the increase need of imaging small object and the upcoming fast and powerful acquisition system. Hence, SONAXIS’ strategy is to keep on developing the technology and staying at the highest level of technology along with looking for new market opportunities. The contribution of SONAXIS to the INNODERM project is to focus on the design, technological development and testing of a new generation of high frequency high-numerical aperture (HNA) ultrasound transducers required for opto-acoustic imaging / RSOM2. Sonaxis has been successfully working with TUM for four years for manufacturing specific opto acoustic transducers.
Principal Investigator: Guillaume Pierre
RAYFOS Ltd is a UK-based company founded in 2012 in the space of optical engineering and real-time processing systems. The core staff expertise is based on more than a decade of R&D in optics and metrology system design and the corresponding data analysis associated with large data processing operations, in particular large arrays of detectors such as video cameras. Rayfos is developing OEM solutions based on optical sensors and systems, advanced real time data acquisition and signal processing and high speed, scalable computation architectures. The company designs and produces integrated system-level solutions based on state-of-the-art sensor technology, enhanced with advanced data acquisition and novel signal processing algorithms.
While the model of operations today is Business to Business (B2B), Rayfos has initiated a pilot Business to Customer (B2C) model in 2014 with direct sales of software solutions around robust data processing tools developed by the company. The company plans to grow its B2C sector in addition to serving industrial partners and INNODERM can play a central role in growing this activity. Rayfos will engage in software, graphical user interface, data inversion, quantification and data handling operations associated with the demanding image reconstruction requirements proposed. Achieving fast computational performance in processing of large volume data, while still using a highly flexible off-the shelve Operating System is the key approach.
There are three areas of engagement as follows: 1. Efficient data transfer and storage and implementation of a no-missing frames data transfer scheme. Rayfos has a long experience in handling sustainable high-speed data streams, using smart memory managers and multi-threaded system design. 2. Fast signal processing operations implemented in a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) using OpenCL optimized kernels to offer fast filtering operations necessary as a pre-processing step before inversion and 3. Fast matrix inversion operations associated with image reconstruction. This is a very challenging computational task given the amount of information available to the RSOM/RSOM2 system. Rayfos has significant expertise with inversion of large data matrices and will implement an ultra-fast inversion scheme based on Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) processing and utilizing parallel processing on precalculated matrices. The number of OpenCL devices used can be expanded by using multiple GPUs or even a mix of multi core CPU and GPU(s) in a single workstation if this is required.
Principal Investigator: George Georgakarakos
iThera Medical develops and markets biomedical imaging systems based on a novel technology called Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography (MSOT). MSOT utilizes the photoacoustic effect to visualize and quantify anatomical, functional and molecular information, in vivo, in deep tissue and in real time. Today, MSOT allows the study of disease processes on a molecular level as well as the analysis of pharmacokinetic properties for new substances in small animals. MSOT also more and more promises to become a valuable tool for clinical diagnostics. iThera Medical was founded in 2010 and has commercialized MSOT with a multitude of system placements throughout the world, including several European countries, North America and Asia. It has established its own distribution and sales network, an international service capacity and is currently entering the clinical market. iThera Medical employs more than 20 scientists and engineers and has worked closely in the past with TUM/IBMI and Rayfos in implementing commercial MSOT. Together with its technical, preclinical and clinical partners iThera Medical is committed to establish optoacoustic imaging as an important imaging modality for the research of biomedical processes and clinical diagnosis and treatment follow up.
Principal Investigator: Christian Wiest
HUNIMED is an international higher education institution, established in 2014 by Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), and it is dedicated to research in life sciences with longstanding experience in fields such as immunology, auto-immune diseases but also neuro and cardiovascular diseases.
The Department of Biomedical Sciences has BSL2 laboratories fully equipped with instruments for molecular and cellular biology research. ES manipulation room, BSL3 unit, radioactivity and microbiology room are also present. The Department of Biomedical Sciences is also equipped with facilities at the forefront of technological innovation, enabling the realization of the most complex and demanding research projects in preclinical and clinical areas.
The department customarily not only uses but also designs new imaging tools for unmet dermatology needs and will play a critical role in linking the superior abilities of RSOM2 technology to critical dermatology needs.
Principal Investigator: Prof. Antonio Costanzo