A primary focus of the “Functional and Molecular Ultrasound Research Laboratory” at Wayne State University is to develop of novel, hybrid, ultrasound-based diagnostic methods and define the clinical utility of the developed technologies as it applies to detection, diagnosis and therapy of various pathologies. Our ultimate goal is to help physicians and patients by providing more accurate and multi-parametric information about diseases that can help to detect pathologies at their early stages of development, more accurately locate the diseased tissue, better plan for individualized therapy, and monitor the outcome of the therapeutic procedures. These developments will serve to improve the diagnosis and treatment guidance of current severe diseases such as cancer.
Ultrasound imaging (aka sonography) is the most-widely available medical imaging modality in clinical practice due to its notable advantages including using non-ionizing (safer) energy source, providing real-time information, being portable, and lower cost compared to other major imaging modalities. Almost everything we do is somewhat involve ultrasound or acoustic waves. However, we are trying to expand the scope of traditional ultrasound imaging which is limited to imaging tissue morphology and structure and enable it to provide more information including functional information as well as cellular and molecular information of disease. The combination of these information, can greatly enhance the quality of patient care. As an example, combining ultrasound and a relatively newly born imaging modality called “Photoacoustic Imaging” which can provide complementary functional and molecular information to morphological images we obtain from ultrasound.
Our research team works closely with School of Medicine as well as Karmanos Cancer Institute. This collaboration has helped us to better identify the “real clinical needs” and direct our efforts to overcome clinical limitations. Besides, we are closely working with a few companies such as Verasonics and Siemens to implement our technologies on existing clinical devices. We believe this could be a key to enable faster clinical translation of the developed methods.