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Imaging device means new tool for doctors, new business for Tri-Cities

December 01, 1995 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. – Torn ligaments, vein disorders, newborn hip malformations and other soft-tissue abnormalities may be diagnosed more quickly and accurately through a new ultrasonic imaging technology developed in the Tri- Cities. The technology is the cornerstone of Advanced Diagnostics Inc., a new company formed through an agreement between Advanced Imaging Systems of Richland, Wash., and Battelle Memorial Institute.

Unlike conventional ultrasound technology that uses reflected acoustic waves, the new imaging system transmits acoustic waves through the body. The result is a real-time, ultrasonic hologram which provides an improved image of tendons, veins, tumors and other soft-tissue structures.

"The HG-200 Holographic Imager is expected to be a significant advancement in diagnostic imaging, allowing physicians to view images never before attainable," said George Garlick, AIS partner and chief technical officer of ADI. "Physicians will be able to see vein blockages and vessel wall thickness as well as muscle and tendon injuries much more clearly," Garlick added.

Through the agreement, the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest Laboratory, which is operated by Battelle, will provide ADI with laboratory access and loaned executive Gary Morgan to serve as the company's CEO.

The technology evolved from basic research performed at PNL in the 1960s, which was combined with development efforts by AIS after the company obtained the basic patents in 1982. Since then, AIS has refined the technique and was issued several new patents. "We have invested in significant engineering and technology improvements, advancing the technology to the point where we can team with Battelle to bring this product to market," Garlick added.

PNL director Bill Madia sees ADI as an important building block to the emerging medical technology industry in the Tri-Cities. "We hope advanced medical technologies spawned here will someday help the entire nation," Madia said.

Initial clinical testing will focus on three areas for which improved diagnostic imaging capabilities are needed -- vascular structures in arms and legs, orthopedic injuries and infant hip dysplasia which is more easily treated if immediately detected. With further development, the system also may prove useful in breast, prostate and cervical spine examination. ADI will join with the University of Washington, Seattle, Madigan Army Medical Center, Fort Lewis, and other medical centers to conduct clinical trials.

ADI initially will focus on raising equity financing, developing a product sales and distribution channel and establishing clinical data required for Food and Drug Administration approval.

For more information, contact Gary Morgan by phone at (509) 375-2373 or by electronic mail at gb_morgan@pnl.gov.

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Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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