Dr Tom Vercauteren and Dr Kev Dhaliwal were awarded a Proof-of-Concept grant through the IGT Network+ for their project entitled “NiftyPlex: A real-time multiplexed image computing platform”, which was match-funded by University of Edinburgh.

This project (partly funded by the Network+) has allowed research associate Daniele Ravi to deliver positive outcomes that could potentially have high impact in the rapid diagnosis of lung inflammation and infection in critically ill, ventilated patients.

The collaborative project combines novel molecular probes and multi-channel image acquisition sensors developed at University of Edinburgh (Versicolour) with the real-time image computing expertise within UCL’s Translational Imaging Group. Researchers are designing an integrated multiplexed imaging device capable of acquiring and extracting information, in real-time, from several synchronised molecular imaging channels.

Optical molecular imaging (OMI) is an emerging medical imaging modality that has proven to be effective in the context of several disease targets, such as bacterial infection, inflammation and cancer. This modality typically relies on using molecular smart probes coupled with miniature fibre-optic imaging bundles to access tissues and transmit the image from the end of the fibre to the rest of the optics.

While OMI provides new and useful information to clinicians, processing its output in real time is a complex task. This project applies real-time image computing to help accurately interpret the raw data produced by OMI.

The results obtained so far demonstrate that the proposed solution is capable of improving the quality of the acquired images to the level essential for adequate medical investigation. Further work aims to investigate the adaption of this approach for multi-channel data.