SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS July 1, 2008Seno Medical Instruments, Inc., of Texas, The University of Prince Edward Island, and Ryerson University of Toronto, officially celebrated the formation of an exciting research partnership that has great potential to benefit human and animal health at a public ceremony held June 25, 2008 at Prince Edward Island.

Clinical Model of Novel Opto-Acoustic Platform Technology Also Under Development

“This is an outstanding three-way partnership, building on the cooperative relationship between UPEI and Ryerson University and on the opto-acoustic imaging strengths of Seno Medical Instruments,” says UPEI President Wade MacLauchlan. “This could lead to real advances in medical technology, and training opportunities for students.”

Leading the project are Dr. William Whelan, Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Optics and a member of the physics department at UPEI, and Dr. Michael Kolios, Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Applications of Ultrasound with the physics department at Ryerson University.

At the ceremony Janet Campbell, CEO of Seno Medical Instruments stated that through this collaboration, UPEI and Ryerson will develop new biomedical applications for Seno’s opto-acoustic imaging technology, with applications in animal and human health, including cancer detection and treatment monitoring. This new opto-acoustic technology offers researchers key advantages such as reliable and reproducible outcomes with a turnkey system that offers improved contrast and real-time images.

By using the first-ever commercially available opto-acoustic small animal imaging device created by Seno Medical Instruments Inc, laser pulses are directed into tissues, and if tumors are present they will absorb the light energy and convert this energy absorption into an acoustic wave, which is picked up by the transducers embedded in a probe, similar to those used by ultrasound. Seno’s technology will be used to provide clinicians with new cancer diagnostic tools capable of detecting the hallmarks of cancer, angiogenesis and oxygen saturation. This new platform technology takes the best of existing proven technologies and combines them to create an advanced, novel, opto-acoustic cancer imaging technology.

“This project is a great example of how our researchers propel ideas and innovations into the community, industry and marketplace,” says Dr. Alan Shepard, Provost and Vice-president, Academic, at Ryerson University. “We look forward to continued interactions between researchers at Ryerson and UPEI, and opportunities to expand our research and academic connections in other disciplines.”

“We are so pleased that UPEI and Ryerson have purchased the first ever commercially available opto-acoustic small animal imaging device,” says Janet Campbell, Chairman and CEO of Seno Medical Instruments, a SanAntonio, Texas based company.

“Individuals such as Dr. Whelan and Dr. Kolios are truly performing groundbreaking research by utilizing our technology. This project is tremendously valuable to cancer researchers and cancer patients, and we are proud to be part of it.”

Whelan and Kolios are long time collaborators and have jointly received funding from federal and provincial granting agencies for their work, including NSERC, CIHR, NCIC, CFI and ACOA. Their joint research programs focus on developing minimally invasive technologies that use light and sound, instead of surgery or radiation, to deliver, monitor and assess cancer treatments.


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