Browse Technologies

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Non-Invasive Skin Cancer Detection using Raman Spectroscopy-OCT System (Portfolio)

Vanderbilt University researchers have designed a system for non-invasive discrimination between normal and cancerous skin lesions. The system combines the depth-resolving capabilities of OCT technique with Raman Spectroscopy's specificity of molecular chemistry. By linking both imagining techniques into a single detector arm, the complexity, cost, and size of previously reported RS-OCT instruments have been significantly improved. The combined instrument is capable of acquiring data sets that allow for more thorough assessment of a sample than existing optical techniques.

Systems and Methods for Optical Stimulation of Neural Tissues (Portfolio)

Vanderbilt researchers have developed a novel technique for contactless simulation of the central nervous system.  This involves the use of infrared neural stimulation (INS) to evoke the observable action potentials from neurons of the central nervous system.  While infrared neural stimulation of the peripheral nervous system was accomplished almost a decade ago, this is the first technique for infrared stimulation of the central nervous system. This technology has been protected by a portfolio of issued patents.

Near-Infrared Dye with Large Stokes Shift for Simultaneous Multichannel in vivo Molecular Imaging

Fluorescent labels having near-infrared (NIR) emission wavelengths have the ability to penetrate tissue deeper than other emission wavelengths, providing enormous potential for non-invasive imaging applications. However, advancement of optical imaging (particularly NIR imaging) is hindered by the limitation of narrow Stokes shift of most infrared dyes currently available in the market. Vanderbilt researchers have developed a novel NIR dye (4-Sulfonir) for multichannel imaging that enables in vivo imaging of multiple targets due to its large Stokes shift. 4-Sulfonir with its unique large Stokes shift (~150 nm) and wide excitation spectrum could be used in parallel with other NIR dyes for imaging two molecular events simultaneously in one target.

Prognostic Assay for High-altitude Pulmonary Hypertension in Cattle (Brisket Disease)

This genetic test identifies cattle at high risk of developing pulmonary hypertension at high altitudes (often called "brisket disease").  Brisket disease afflicts about 5% of cattle at high altitudes and the current predictive test for at-risk cattle is a measure of pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP).  This current PAP test has some major drawbacks.  First, it is an invasive test.  Secondly, it is not accurate at lower elevations -- so at-risk cattle cannot identified before incurring the cost of transport to high altitude.  There is no treatment for the disease except prompt removal of the animal to lower elevations.  This technology measures genetic variants that confer susceptibility to brisket disease, and could be developed into a diagnostic or a prognostic test for use prior to shipping cattle to higher elevations or in breeding operations.

Assessment of Right Ventricular Function Using Contrast Echocardiography

Vanderbilt Medical Center researchers have developed a non-invasive and reproducible method of assessing right-ventricular function using contrast-echocardiography. The right-ventricular transit time (RVTT) measures the time needed for echocardiographic contrast to travel from the RV to the bifurcation of the main pulmonary artery. Coupled with the pulmonary transit time (PTT), the time needed for contrast to traverse the entire pulmonary circulation, RVTT is part of a family of diagnostic parameters that can report on RV-specific performance as well as the RV's function relative to that of the pulmonary circuit as a whole.

Diagnostic to Predict Paternal Premature Birth Risk Factors: Therapy Can Reduce Risk

Premature birth is the leading cause of neonatal death worldwide, affecting 13% of US infants (500,000 babies/year). Of great concern, premature birth cannot currently be reliably predicted or prevented. Existing risk factors and interventions for premature birth focus solely on maternal factors, thereby overlooking paternal factors that influence an infant's development. Vanderbilt researchers have now identified a missing piece of the puzzle and are developing a diagnostic test to predict premature birth risks conferred to infants by their fathers. Of key importance, the test offers meaningful clinical guidance, as risk factors measured by the diagnostic can be modified before conception via supplementation.

Licensing Contact

Jody Hankins

Molecular Image Fusion: Cross-Modality Modeling and Prediction Software for Molecular Imaging

A research team at Vanderbilt University Mass Spectrometry Research Center has developed the Molecular Image Fusion software system, that by fusing spatial correspondence between histology and imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) measurements and cross-modality modeling, can predict ion distributions in tissue at spatial resolutions that exceed their acquisition resolution. The prediction resolution can even exceed the highest spatial resolution at which IMS can be physically measured. This software has been successfully tested on different IMS datasets and can be extended to other imaging modalities like MRI, PET, CT, profilometry, ion mobility spectroscopy, and different forms of microscopy.

Method for Extracting Molecules From Tissues

This research targets molecular extraction.

Diagnostics Management Team

The sheer volume of medical information available to physicians today is overwhelming. Diagnostic Management Team provides a concise, accurate method for ordering the correct diagnostic tests every time, and it returns the results in a uniform report format, easily read by the physician. This has already been launched within Vanderbilt University, with a high adoption rate amongst physicians and has already shown significant savings.

Licensing Contact

Tom Utley


Mary Zutter

Simultaneous RNA and Gene Expression Profiling Using Mass Spectrometry

This technology allows the simultaneous detection of RNA transcript abundance (as an assay of gene expression) and protein abundance (as an assay of protein expression) from biological samples without RNA isolation, labeling or amplification. Existing technologies allow for very efficient determinations of protein abundance from a wide variety of biological samples. These methods are in widespread use and are based on mass spectrometry technologies. There are no available technologies that allow efficient and quantitative assessment of multiple RNA transcripts without a previous isolation followed by labeling and/or amplification. The most efficient technologies currently available make use of DNA microarrays to profile RNA abundance as a measure of gene expression. While very robust and useful, these technologies are very labor intensive and suffer from a number of technological drawbacks. This technology takes advantage of a number of existing methods and techniques and brings them together in a novel manner that greatly expands the state of the art for gene expression.