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News Archive 2001 - 2010

Bioengineering Gets $2.5 Million to Improve Medical Imaging

December 12, 2005

The University of Texas at Arlington received a $2.5 million symbolic check from U. S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis) representing a Congressional earmark secured by Rep. Barton to fund additional research in optical medical imaging. Investigators in the Bioengineering Department, in a joint initiative with The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, will conduct research combining engineering and medical techniques to dramatically improve disease detection and treatment.

Optical medical imaging is a new and novel area of research aimed at the use light to diagnose disease, evaluate the efficacy of treatment, better understand human physiology and explore cellular function. Optical medical imaging techniques have virtually no side effects. Optical imaging devices are also less expensive to develop and deploy in comparison to most other imaging equipment. This makes imaging more readily available to clinicians around the state and nation and will help reduce health-care costs.

Four faculty members in the Bioengineering Department at UT Arlington are conducting research in optical medical imaging. These investigators developed optical imaging devices and demonstrated that they can lead to improved surgical procedures for implanting deep brain stimulators, determine patency of peripheral vasculature, and interrogate subcellular structures for the detection of cancer. Examples of current projects include detection of prostate, breast and oral cancer, prevention of limb and foot amputation of diabetic, and assessment of treatment of cancer and sickle cell disease.

The appropriated funds for this project will allow the investigators to acquire the needed scientific equipment to help them design and develop new, more reliable and higher resolution optical medical imaging devices. The new devices will be rigorously tested and evaluated in both laboratory and clinical settings to prove their efficacy and provide valuable information to physicians to diagnose disease.