projectiondesign's 3D projector visualises human brain as part of world-renowned Blue Brain Project and aids virtual reality medical research with Motek Medical

Fredrikstad 03 March 2010Literally adding a new dimension to the appreciation of anatomical research, Norway's projectiondesign has supplied its F10 AS3D active stereo 3D DLP projector to present the work connected with the worldwide Blue Brain Project (BBP). And Dutch-based health care technology innovator Motek Medical has specified projectiondesign F12 DLP projectors for use in a number of ground-breaking research projects across the globe.


The Blue Brain Project presentation was given earlier this year by the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM) in Spain to promote its new BioTech initiative, which is based at the university's Montegancedo campus and which, among other things, will integrate the university's work on the BBP with that of other Spanish institutions, notably the Instituto Cajal of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas.

In order to communicate the UPM's role in advancing the Blue Brain Project, a 3D presentation was given showing a series of 3D images including a single neuron, cortical column activity, and a cross-section of the brain of a mouse diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

The projectiondesign F10 AS3D reproduces a 3D reconstruction of brain tissue suffering from Alzheimer's disease for visitors to the Blue Brain Project presentation in Madrid, Spain. The side of the block measures 0.23 mm giving a detailed microscopic image. Image: Courtesy of Blue Brain Project (BBP), Instituto Cajal of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain.

Jose Maria Peña, Project Director took up the story: "The Blue Brain Project is the first comprehensive attempt to reverse-engineer the mammalian brain, in order to understand brain function and dysfunction through detailed simulations. The UPM and the Instituto Cajal are both playing important roles in the project, and 120 high-profile researchers attended the presentation - mainly representatives of medical research centres, hospitals, and the BioTech initiative's industrial and technological sponsors."

The F10 AS3D reproduces confocal electronic microscopy on brain tissue in 3D for visitors to the Blue Brain Project presentation in Madrid, Spain. The green structures are dendrites, a part of neurons. The red structures are soma, the part of neurons that contains the nucleus. This photo shows a highly nebular soma after an injection of ink, due to Alzheimers disease on the tissue. See Image: Courtesy of Blue Brain Project (BBP), Instituto Cajal of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain.

"The F10 AS3D was used in conjunction with a 3-metre wide screen for the 3D presentation where the audience used active-stereo 3D glasses to view the presentation with an extremely positive response", stated Jose Maria Peña.

Mercedes Sainz, Sales Manager Spain & Portugal at projectiondesign, added: "Perfectly tailored for use in scientific visualisation and simulation, projectiondesign's F10 AS3D is the market's only available full, high resolution projector that enables active 3D stereoscopic visualisation from an extremely compact, and easy to set up unit. It has since its launch been widely acclaimed for its ability to make 3D stereoscopic presentations easier and more approachable for users and audiences alike, while retaining the detail required for high end visualisation and medical imaging."

The F10 AS3D projector is the smallest active stereoscopic projector available. Photo: Courtesy of projectiondesign.

In two North American installations, located at the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) in San Diego, California and at McGill University, Montréal, Canada, each deploy the images from three edge-blended F12s to create a 180-degree panoramic image in front of and around the patient as part of Motek Medical's proprietary Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN).

Outlining the design and operation of CAREN systems, Gerben van der Werf, VP Marketing and Sales, Motek Medical, stated: "The latest scientific research into the nature of human movement and rehabilitation after e.g. military combat, sports and other activities, requires careful study of how the patient reacts to the world around him. Using completely integrated components including a treadmill, a motion-capture system, a graphic environment based on flight-simulator technology and immersive projected imagery, CAREN creates a 'virtual world' in which the patient's movements are integrated directly with the visualisation onto the screen.

"All the elements of CAREN are completely synchronised, and the system moves so quickly that the virtual world and the real world 'become one'. The virtual world reacts to the movement of the patient, and the patient, in turn, reacts to changes in the virtual world", added Gerben van der Werf.

In both San Diego and Montréal, a cylindrical projection screen envelops the patient's treadmill, effectively creating a moving panorama which alters in character with each step the patient takes. Every movement is monitored by medical staff and recorded for further study.

Motek Medical system at McGill University Pain, Mind, and Movement Research Lab at the Constance Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre, Canada. Photo: Courtesy of Motek Medical.

In order for any research data derived from CAREN to be valid, the patient's virtual world must combine a high degree of controllability with moving imagery that is utterly convincing. It were these criteria that led Motek to specify projectiondesign, as Gerben van der Werf explained: "The projectors need to fulfil a number of requirements. First of all you need high resolution to ensure an accurate image. Then you need a high refresh rate, because motion is a key part of CAREN and the image has to remain natural without any artefacts. You also need consistent colour because, when you are combining the images from three projectors together to form a seamless environment, you can't afford to have any deviation in colour between them. Finally, in many of these projects, space is limited, so you need the option of wide-angle lenses to minimize the distance between the projectors and the cylindrical screen."

Motek Medical installation at NHRC San Diego. Photo: Courtesy of Motek Medical.

"I'm delighted to say that the projectiondesign F12 projectors fulfilled all these criteria, and the end users in both installations are extremely happy with the results they are getting from their systems", Gerben van der Werf stated.

Three edge-blended F12s to create a 180-degree panoramic image in front of and around the patient as part of Motek Medical's proprietary Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN). Photo: Courtesy of projectiondesign.

Gerben van den Berg, Sales Manager Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg at projectiondesign, concluded: "We have always paid meticulous attention to the performance, consistency, and flexibility of our DLP projectors, and these medical research projects are a great vindication of our approach. Motek Medical is doing ground-breaking work in the field of virtual environments for military and civil health care, and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship with them."

projectiondesign is a Norwegian company that designs, manufactures and markets a range of high performance projectors for professional, business and consumer applications. Amongst its core markets are high resolution scientific visualization and simulation, medical imaging, e-cinema and public displays. Numerous industry milestones that distinguish projectiondesign's award winning, innovative technology include the introduction of the world's first single-chip SXGA DLP projector in 2002, the first commercially available 1080p DLP projector in 2006, the first WUXGA resolution DLP projector and the first portable and high-resolution active 3D stereoscopic projector in 2008.

In 2009, projectiondesign introduced its first 3-chip projector and made its first foray into LED illumination. 2010 signifies the world premiere of the Remote Light Source projector, WQXGA resolution (2,560 x 1,600) projector and the company's first warp and blend image processor. The entire professional product range is warranted for 24/7 usage. projectiondesign is based in Fredrikstad, Norway, and has representation in Singapore, Dubai, Milan, Stuttgart, Bilbao, Mumbai, Cape Town, Liverpool and New York. More company news is available in the VMW March 2010 article projectiondesign brings large-format medical displays to ECR 2010.

Source: projectiondesign

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