Bioacoustics Research Lab
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering | Department of Bioengineering
Department of Statistics | Coordinated Science Laboratory | Beckman Institute | Food Science and Human Nutrition | Division of Nutritional Sciences | College of Engineering
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William D. O'Brien, Jr. publications:

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Bioengineering Research Partnership

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Quantitative Ultrasonic Imaging of the Breast

Funded by the National Cancer Institute
1 R01 CA111289-01A2
July 1, 2007 - May 31, 2012

The Principal Investigators are William D. O'Brien, Jr., Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and Timothy J. Hall, Professor, Department of Medical Physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW)

The UIUC co-investigators are James F. Zachary, Professor, Department of Pathobiology; Douglas G. Simpson, Professor and Chair, Department of Statistics; and Michael L. Oelze, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The UW co-investigators are James A. Zagzebski, Professor and Chair, Department of Medical Physics; Ernest L. Madsen, Emeritus Professor, Department of Medical Physics; Tomy Varghese, Associate Professor, Department of Medical Physics; Gale A. Sisney, MD, Director of Breast Imaging and Associate Professor of Radiology; Elizabeth S. Burnside, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiology; Frederick Kelcz, MD, Associate Professor of Radiology; and Josephine M. Harter, MD, Assistant Professor of Pathology.

The long-term goal of the partnership is to develop, unify, refine and implement a new approach to quantitative ultrasound (QUS) imaging of biological tissues and mammary tumors by the quantification of tissue microstructure. In lay terms, if the research is successful, many breast abnormalities and lesions can be diagnosed without the need for a biopsy. The overall hypothesis of our partnership is that a set of QUS parameters can significantly improve breast lesion differentiation/classification. The primary QUS parameters to be exploited include attenuation, scatterer size, scatterer number density, and acoustic concentration (scatterer number density times their impedance change). Our goal in the first 5 years of this project is to lay the foundation for a new (possibly revolutionary but definitely evolutionary) diagnostic imaging capability through development, testing, and verification with simulations, phantoms, and in vitro and in vivo animal model experiments, as well as preliminary human subjecting testing. In the second 5 years we will extend the analysis beyond common breast lesions, begin Phase II clinical trials and work towards the creation of automated tools to assist in the diagnosis of breast abnormalities.

The partnership is between engineers, acoustic physicists, statisticians and veterinary pathologists at UIUC and physicists, engineers, pathologists and radiologists at UW.

Use of QUS imaging is medically significant because it offers a potentially real-time and noninvasive means of differentiation/classification tumor types and tracking their response to therapy. To this end, 5 specific aims are proposed, viz., 1) unify QUS algorithms with simulations, phantoms and animal tumor models in vivo, 2) associate acoustic microstructural measurements with anatomical scattering sources, 3) monitor the changes in QUS parameters with tumor growth in in vivo animal models, 4) compare tumors in human subjects with those in animal models, and 5) develop a major outreach activity.

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