EU funds project for new ultrasound, tomo device for breast cancer

A new European Union (EU)-funded project will develop a device for multimodal tomography using ultrasound and optical tomography to improve breast cancer diagnosis.

The Smart Optical and Ultrasound Diagnostics of Breast Cancer (SOLUS) project, spearheaded by Politecnico di Milano, combines optical methods, an optode performing diffuse optical tomography, conventional ultrasound imaging, and advanced quantitative elastography.

SOLUS aims to classify breast lesions detected by mammography screening in a noninvasive way and improve the ability to differentiate between benign and malignant lesions.

Ultrasound imaging will provide anatomical information. Elastography will estimate the stiffness of the tissue. Optical tomography will assess tissue composition, measuring water, lipid, and collagen content, as well as functional blood parameters such as blood volume and oxygenation levels.

SOLUS could have potential applications in other fields, ranging from wearable devices to monitor muscular oxygenation or the threshold for the formation of lactate during sports training and medical rehabilitation to nondestructive assessment of the quality of fruit and vegetables.

The project started in late 2016, received 3.8 million euros in funding from the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Framework Program, and will run for four years, until October 2020.

The SOLUS consortium consists of the following:

  • Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy
  • CEA-LETI, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives in Grenoble, France
  • Supersonic Imagine in Aix-en-Provence, France
  • Vermon in Tours, France
  • University College London in the U.K.
  • Micro Photon Devices in Bolzano, Italy
  • San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy
  • European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR) in Vienna
  • iC-Haus in Bodenheim, Germany
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