Ultrasound research platform DiPhAS (Digital Phased Array System):
The DiPhAS with its high flexibility and scaling over a wide frequency range (500 kHz-20 MHz) is the basis for application-oriented research and product development. Applications extend from industrial, technical applications (sonar, material testing, etc.) to clinical diagnostics.
Exceptional are the open interfaces that allow free beam forming and access to all signal processing chain data (single channel data, HF-data, B-image data). The system has 32, 64, 128, and 256 channels and allows the operation of up to 4 parallel ultrasonic probes. It is used, for example, for the online-regulation of therapy systems in tumor treatment.
In addition, the newest generation of DiPhAS-systems was implemented with photoacoustic stimuli. In the sonar field, it is the first high definition multi-beam-sonar-system based on DiPhAS-technology.
An ultrasound system that is approved as a medical product to monitor interstitial thermotherapies.
SKINSPECTION – Multimodal imaging for skin diagnostics:
In the SKINSPECTION-project the European consortium is developing novel diagnostic equipment for non-invasive skin imaging. The consortium is validating it in a clinical study on the diagnosis of skin cancer diseases. Cancer morbidity is on the rise in Europe, the USA, and especially rapidly in Australia. This enhances the need for effective early detection methods.
Melanoma is the most frequent and at the same time most aggressive form of skin cancer. It is the second most common general cancer in women age 20-29 years and the sixth most common general cancer in men and woman overall. In 2007, in the USA alone, more than 1 million new cases were reported. The World Health Organization estimates that this year 60 000 people will die from sunlight exposure: 48 000 from melanoma and 12 000 from other types of skin cancer.
A significant improvement of the current skin diagnostic tools is necessary to identify skin damage at an early phase and to directly monitor the effects of treatment. A non-invasive mulitmodal hybrid imaging system for clinical diagnostics of skin lesions was developed in SKINSPECTION. In the project coordinated by Fraunhofer IBMT a combined platform was established that combines microscopic optical methods such as 2-photon microscopy and FLIM (FluorescenceLifetime Imaging) with high definition ultrasound and optoacoustics.
By combining the modalities, skin damage can be demonstrated macroscopically (ultrasound/optoacoutics) as well as microscopically with subcellular definition. Following the approval of the developed modules, a clinical trial was initiated that is currently in progress. For the first time, this study is evaluating the new imaging system in patients in a multicenter study. The project supplies a novel, unique tool for early diagnosis and the regulation of skin cancer and skin disease treatment.
In the project “TieTeK” which is funded by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft as market-oriented preliminary research, first sensoric and actoric modules were tested in the in-house pressure chamber for deep sea use at 600 bar outside pressure. A first prototype of the complete vehicle was taken into operation in the ocean. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft supports these future-oriented developments in the new business area of underwater sensoric and deep sea technology by strategic investments for the development of test platforms for underwater communication systems.