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Endra Launches Imaging System

Photonics.com
Apr 2010
ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 21, 2010 — Endra Life Sciences has announced the launch of the Nexus 128, a photoacoustic computed tomography scanner for small animal imaging. The system is used for simple, fast and noninvasive quantification of tumor vasculature and other physiological parameters for preclinical research. The Nexus 128 makes in vivo quantification of tumor vasculature possible without contrast agents and helps preclinical researchers gain deeper insight into areas such as how drugs treat disease and cancer progression, without ionizing radiation or complicated equipment.

“Photoacoustic imaging combines ultrasound with the rich contrast of optical imaging, based on the same principles that give cells, organs and tissues their unique colors,” said Michael Thornton, Endra’s president and chief operating officer. “It provides high spatial resolution at depth far exceeding that of conventional optical imaging techniques such as fluorescence and bioluminescence. We are excited to make this technology widely available to cancer biology researchers for the first time.”

Endra Life Sciences of Ann Arbor, Mich., was founded by Boston-based Enlight Biosciences, a funding syndicate of six of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies: Abbott, Eli Lilly, Johnson and Johnson, Merck, Pfizer and Novartis.

“Mouse models of cancer are used extensively to study tumor development and the effects of new therapies, but until now the tools to measure this effect have had depth limitations,” said Rakesh Jain, director of the Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology at Harvard Medical School, and a biosciences advisor to Enlight. “The ability to track abnormal vessel growth and normalization in vivo with high resolution throughout a tumor mass during therapeutic intervention is a powerful new capability that will be widely used in cancer research.”

The name Nexus 128 represents the convergence of light and sound in a powerful new imaging approach. The device employs a detector array consisting of 128 individual acoustic receiver elements arranged in a patented geometry. The system generates multispectral, quantitative, three-dimensional images of tumor vasculature and hemoglobin concentration in under two minutes, and completes volumetric anatomical scans in as little as 12 seconds.

In photoacoustic imaging, short pulses of light absorbed deep within tissue create sound waves that are detected by ultrasound receivers to create an image. This noninvasive approach provides high-contrast imaging at depth, and spatial resolution far exceeding existing optical techniques. Endra’s Nexus 128 is the first commercial photoacoustic imaging device designed specifically for high-throughput, quantitative, in vivo small animal imaging.

“For the past several years, our research group has developed quantitative photoacoustic spectroscopy imaging techniques and applied them to mouse models of cancer,” said Keith Stantz, a faculty member at Purdue University. “We have been using Endra’s photoacoustic tomography prototype system regularly for the past year. The simplified animal handling and high throughput allow us to image entire study groups within a couple of hours.”

Endra Life Sciences launched the product at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2010 in Washington, DC, April 17–21. The Nexus 128 system also will be featured in a poster by Stantz and his colleagues from Purdue.

For more information, visit:  www.endrainc.com 


GLOSSARY
spatial resolution
In a vision system, the linear dimensions (X and Y) of the field of view, as measured in the image plane, divided by the number of pixels in the X and Y dimensions of the system's imaging array or image digitizer, expressed in mils or inches per pixel.
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