Sensant recognized for research in 3D ultrasound imaging by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

San Leandro 15 March 2004Sensant has been recognized by DARPA, the central research and development organisation of the United States' Department of Defense, for outstanding performance in DARPA's Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) programme. Sensant's work developing silicon-based ultrasound sensor technology will enable three-dimensional ultrasound systems for medical imaging in combat situations. Such systems would provide critical insight into the nature of injuries to members of the armed forces and would also have broad applicability in non-military applications such as emergency medicine.

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At DARPA Tech 2004, DARPA's annual showcase of research initiatives and technologies under development, Sensant was selected as the Special Projects Office nominee for the DARPA award for best innovative research by a small business. The outstanding performance recognition signals DARPA's enthusiastic support for Sensant's MEMS ultrasound technology platform while also recognizing Sensant's marked achievement in the execution of its DARPA-funded development work.

"This formal and public recognition serves to highlight the ingenuity and outstanding contributions of our engineering team and recognizes the promise of Silicon Ultrasound for innovative three-dimensional imaging systems. To be nominated by DARPA from a field of such distinguished technology companies is an honour for all of us at Sensant", remarked Igal Ladabaum, Sensant CEO.

Under its DARPA-funded grant entitled "Virtual Ultrasound Transducer Control for Telemedicine: Application of Flexible MEMS Arrays", Sensant is developing a real-time three-dimensional imaging system based on Sensant's Silicon Ultrasound technology platform. Silicon Ultrasound, by bringing together ultrasound sensors and semiconductor electronics on the surface of a silicon wafer, enables the development of a truly real-time, low-cost, portable volumetric ultrasound system. Such a system will permit rapid operator-independent scans with digitized volumetric data sets that can be electronically transmitted for radiological interpretation.

In addition to meeting the specific needs of the armed services, a three-dimensional imaging system based on Sensant's silicon MEMS technology has great potential for broader commercial success in health care and emergency medicine. Volumetric scan data will provide physicians with more informative imaging capabilities allowing them to better understand complex anatomical structures and diseases. Furthermore, just as operator-independence, short scan times, and teleradiology are important for the rapid and thorough assessment of field-based military personnel, those same capabilities can produce efficiency improvements for emergency medicine, hospitals, and radiology departments.

Founded in 1998, Sensant Corporation is leading the development of silicon-based micro-drum technology for diagnostic ultrasound imaging. Based on its Silicon Ultrasound MEMS technology, Sensant provides a revolutionary platform for advanced medical imaging systems. Silicon Ultrasound is the enabling technology for major innovations such as real-time true volumetric imaging and improved visualization of tumours using ultrasound contrast agents. Such advances will provide physicians with more informative images and will help to simplify the imaging process. More news on Sensant is available in the VMW January 2004 article Sensant presents clinical images of blood flow in the breast that may benefit cancer diagnosis.


Leslie Versweyveld

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