Institute for Data Processing and Electronics (IPE)

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women: 1,600,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed worldwide each year. Although the breast is not a vital organ, the chances of recovery are not yet as good as they could be. Detected and localized in time, breast cancer is very well treatable. The "3D Ultrasound Computer Tomography" (USCT) project is developing a new imaging method for early detection of breast cancer that promises three-dimensional images in high resolution. Our goal is to detect a tumor with an average size of 5 mm in order to enable earlier diagnosis and thus greatly increase the chances of survival.

Technology

The project has several technological challenges: The procedure is based on thousands of ultrasound transducers arranged in a water-filled examination basin. During the acquisition of an image, large amounts of raw data are acquired, which are then used for the reconstruction of  3D images.

For the development of USCT prototypes we can rely on the competences of our institute:

Mechanical design

For the mechanical design, we deal with questions regarding patient and user safety with respect to medical device development. At the same time the development poses functional challenges for the novel technology.

Ultrasound transducers

Our research focuses on the simulation, characterization and construction of ultrasound transducers with special characteristics. The competences of the IPE allow research on manufacturing techniques as well as the construction of small series.

Analog and digital electronics

In the field of analog and digital electronics, the challenges are the integration of complex electronic sub-systems into a complete system. The large data volumes and data rates require the development of special hardware with several hundred parallel channels.

Software

In order to calculate high-resolution three-dimensional images from the raw data, complex calculations have to be carried out. We research on the development of image reconstruction, image processing and visualization algorithms as well as their acceleration by means of GPU computing and FPGAs.


Projects

In our main project "3D Ultrasound Computed Tomography" we are engaged in the research and development of prototypes of a 3D ultrasound tomograph and its clinical evaluation. Currently, a 3D USCT prototype is being tested in a clinical study at the University Medical Center Mannheim. Together with an industrial partner, we are preparing a large multicenter study as part of a technology transfer project.

In numerous sub-projects in cooperation with national and international partners, we also conduct research in the fields of ultrasound for medical and industrial applications, medical imaging and medical image processing:

 

For students

Students are an essential part of our research group. In our research areas there are continuously exciting tasks for bachelor and master theses, internships and hiwi jobs in various disciplines. Please feel free to contact us directly if you are interested!

Network

Awards

Neuland Innovation Award 2018, 1st place: "3D USCT for multi-center study in China", Prof. Dr. Marc Weber, Prof. Dr. Hartmut Gemmeke, PD Dr. Nicole Ruiter, Dr. Torsten Hopp and Michael Zapf

NEO Innovation Award of the Karlsruhe Technology Region, 2015, PD Dr. Nicole Ruiter and USCT team

Gips-Schüle Young Talent Award 2014, 2nd prize, Dr. Torsten Hopp

iSMIT Technology Award 2013, Dr Nicole Ruiter and Dr Robin Dapp

Press

Publications


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