North­eastern Uni­ver­sity engi­neering fac­ulty mem­ber­sare leading the devel­op­ment of novel soft­ware solu­tions to accel­erate the pro­cessing of bio­med­ical images of human tis­sues. The new soft­ware libraries would allow clin­i­cians to process and dis­play images at rates 10 to 1,000 times faster than cur­rent tech­nology, which could lead to quicker diag­noses for cancer and cer­tain other con­di­tions and decrease the need for mul­tiple patient visits.

David Kaeli and Miriam Leeser, pro­fes­sors of elec­trical and com­puter engineering,are col­lab­o­rating with researchers from Mass­a­chu­setts Gen­eral Hos­pital and other research insti­tu­tions in the United States and Puerto Rico. The project, funded by a $1.3 mil­lion Inno­va­tions grant from the National Sci­ence Foun­da­tion (NSF), is affil­i­ated with Northeastern’s NSF engi­neering research center, the Bernard M. Gordon Center for Sub­sur­face Sensing and Imaging Systems.

In one key appli­ca­tion, the new soft­ware libraries would enable radi­ol­o­gists to assess tissue images more quickly so that clin­i­cians could per­form image-​​guided biop­sies. This tech­nology could poten­tially lead to quicker breast cancer diag­noses, quicker detec­tion of car­dio­vas­cular plaque, and more rapid delivery of infor­ma­tion nec­es­sary for brain surgery and radi­a­tion treat­ment planning.

This emerging tech­nology could help reduce health-​​care costs by reducing the number of patient visits,” said Kaeli. “This also has the poten­tial to become avail­able in clinics and other health-​​care cen­ters so that more patients can benefit.”

The new soft­ware libraries will also allow med­ical researchers to take full advan­tage of the most sophis­ti­cated imaging tech­nolo­gies. Up to now, those tech­nolo­gies pro­duced much more data than existing soft­ware was able to process. The soft­ware libraries being devel­oped by Kaeli’s team will align with com­puter graphics pro­cessing units that are pro­grammed for super­com­puting and lightening-​​fast pro­cessing of 3D, Mag­netic Res­o­nance Imaging (MRI) and Com­puted Tomog­raphy (CT) images.

The project also includes the devel­op­ment of a web-​​sharing soft­ware library. The soft­ware will be applic­able to both cancer-​​related and other bio­med­ical imaging applications.

Our goal is to develop the method­ology that can be reused across all areas of bio­med­ical imaging,” explained Kaeli.

Kaeli’s col­lab­o­ra­tors includeMiriam Leeser from Northeastern;Badrinath Roysam from Rens­se­laer Poly­technic Insti­tute; Nayda San­tiago from the Uni­ver­sity of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez; Homer Pien from Mass­a­chu­setts Gen­eral Hos­pital; James Hale from Spelman Col­lege; and Clem Karl from Boston University.

To learn more about Elec­trical and Com­puter Engi­neering at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, visit: http://​www​.ece​.neu​.edu/

For more infor­ma­tion about the Bernard M. Gordon Center for Sub­sur­face Sensing and Imaging Sys­tems, visit: http://​www​.censsis​.neu​.edu/