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Aug 20, 2012
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

iThera: Sight through sound

iThera's MSOT optoacoustic imaging aims to better microscopy, ultrasound

iThera Medical GmbH's MSOT imaging technology combines the molecular capabilities of microscopy and PET imagining with the tissue penetration abilities of ultrasound. It has the potential to replace microscopy for drug discovery and to replace ultrasound in indications such as peripheral vascular disease and cancer.

Doctors and researchers use microscopy with fluorescently tagged biomarkers as well as PET imaging to diagnose conditions like Alzheimer's disease (AD), target tumors for surgery or track a compound in animals during drug discovery. However, microscopy is limited by its ability to detect molecular imaging markers beyond depths of 200-300 µm, at which point it loses resolution. PET can penetrate through the entire body, but its resolution is only 1-2 mm, according to iThera CEO Christian Wiest.

Ultrasound can penetrate several centimeters, but cannot differentiate fluorescent markers to distinguish benign and cancerous cells.

According to Wiest, iThera's multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT) builds on the strengths of the two technologies while avoiding their weaknesses. MSOT is an imaging device that can penetrate depths similar to ultrasound and differentiate molecular markers that...

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