By WRAL Tech Wire

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. – InnerOptic Technology and Kitware said Tuesday that they have landed a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help fund Phase II trials of their new tumor treatment system.

InnerOptic focuses on 3D visualization for image-guided procedures. Kitware works on open-source software and solutions development. The two announced receipt of the Phase II SBIR funding from the NIH for the development of a needle guidance system for hepatic tumor ablation.

The operating-room-ready system will provide novel 3D visualizations for needle guidance in soft tissues.

Using InnerOptics’ Spotlighttm technology, which was developed during Phase I of this grant, intra-operative ultrasound images will be fused with pre-operative computed tomography (CT) images. The Spotlight system renders opaquely and in sharp detail only the portions of the CT data that are in the vicinity of the ultrasound probe or the needle trajectory.

This is analogous to a spotlight on stage: illuminating the scene of interest, while the rest of the stage is transparent and out-of-focus to be less distracting.

Founded by world-renowned researchers at UNC Chapel Hill, InnerOptic Technology is revolutionizing image-guided medical procedures with its 3D visualization inventions and products. InnerOptic’s products include AIM, a “GPS” for needle guidance; and Spotlight, a guidance system that fuses CT/MR data sets with real-time ultrasound.

Kitware is an open-source solutions provider for research facilities, government institutions, and corporations worldwide. Founded in 1998, Kitware specializes in research and development in the areas of visualization, medical imaging, computer vision, quality software process, data management, and informatics. Kitware is headquartered in Clifton Park, NY, with offices in Carrboro and Villeurbanne, France.