Medical diagnostic imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound often rely on targeting aids or landmarking devices, which help identify anatomical locations of visualized areas. One of the most common methods used to date is the radiopharmaceutically-assisted technique. This method depends on cellular uptake of suitable imaging solutions to provide accurate images of metabolically active tissue, including cancerous or abnormal tissue material, and as such may pose a challenge for regions of greater anatomical variation, and in regions which have little radiotracer uptake on scan. Such regions provide few reference landmarks which have levels of increased cellular glucose or other tracer uptake.
University of Michigan researchers have developed a device for visualizing internal structures of a biological substance. This device includes a marker member that may be a solid cylinder or lumen, which can be inserted in the biological substance relative to the structure to be visualized. An image-enhancing material of choice capable of producing an externally-detectable emission or signal is contained in this device, such that the imaging material does not directly contact the biological substance. In addition to this device, this invention discloses a method for visualizing critical structures or radiation therapy targets in imaging processes used alone or in combination or in registration with anatomical imaging processes such as computed tomography or mammography.
Applications and Advantages
- Medical diagnostic imaging techniques
- Provides utility for maximum use of existing techniques for demonstrating morphologic and molecular disease