The innovative tracking technology designed to increase the precision and efficiency of radiotherapy treatment that was developed by mediri GmbH (Heidelberg), winner of the BMBF’s Medical Technology Innovation Competition in 2006, has now been used for the first time. The technology has been integrated into a specifically developed ultrasound system belonging to the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Technology (IBMT, St. Ingbert).
In cooperation with mediri GmbH, the Fraunhofer IBMT has developed a new ultrasound system (DiPhAS - Digital Phased Array System) for the non-invasive real-time detection of motion that enables the extremely rapid acquisition of images and the simultaneous representation of image levels of up to four ultrasound scanning heads. Using a specific tracking algorithm developed by mediri GmbH, the system is able to register position changes of individual target structures inside the body which are then transferred in real-time to the particle accelerator. This information allows the user to react to motion within a few milliseconds through the specific release of the beam or the steering and control of the beam’s form. The detection of motion occurs completely independently from and simultaneously with the actual application of the beam. This will make it possible in future to carry out the irradiation of individuals with a great deal more accuracy and without a break while the patient is breathing freely. Ideally, the irradiation target is more or less “frozen” in place, regardless of the surrounding state of motion.This innovative technology means that, in future, radiologists will have a device that brings them as close as they have ever been to the best level of irradiation accuracy that is theoretically possible. This would represent a considerable improvement in the quality and compatibility of irradiation treatment as well as minimise side effects and lead to reductions in follow-up health costs.
Further information:Dipl.-Ing. Steffen TretbarFraunhofer IBMTEnsheimerstr. 4866386 St. IngbertE-mail: steffen.tretbar(at)ibmt.fraunhofer.deTel.: +49 (0) 6894/980-226