CEI is an Apex, N.C.-based developer of software applications for the scientific and engineering community. Medical researchers are currently using CEI’s products at various institutions worldwide. In addition to serving the field of medical imaging, CEI’s products are also used in the biomedical and bioengineering communities. Located in southern Germany, the University Medical Center Freiburg is one of Germany’s largest medical centers and one of the world’s leading medical research facilities.
The new partnership between CEI and the University of Freiburg will use EnSight software to bring novel flow-sensitive 4-D Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) techniques, developed at the University Hospital Freiburg by Dr. Michael Markl, to a greater number of researchers wishing to use visualization techniques to study blood flow. Dr. Markl and his colleagues have used the techniques to measure and study blood flows in various types of common vascular diseases such as aneurysms, with the goal of improving future diagnoses and better understanding the formation and progression of these conditions.
“We’re pleased to help forge new territory in medical imaging with a researcher of Dr. Markl’s caliber and with an institution such as the University Medical Center Freiburg,” said Kent Misegades, CEI’s president. “But we’re even more proud of the fact that our partnership will help bring valuable techniques to more researchers allowing us to enhance and improve our products and advance the use of visualization technology in the medical imaging community.”
Dr. Markl’s techniques allow researchers to use routine clinical MRI systems to generate medical imaging data in DICOM format to create advanced visualizations of human 3-D blood flow in EnSight. The techniques take advantage of 3-D spatial encoding and flow-sensitive MRI capabilities to provide anatomical and three-directional velocity information over the entire cardiac cycle for each pixel within a 3-D volume.
“Our partnership with CEI provides the opportunity to integrate EnSight into a clinical environment for direct access to real 3-D flow features inside the human body,” said Dr. Michael Markl, director of cardiovascular MRI, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Medical Physics, at the University Medical Center Freiburg. “We selected EnSight because it is ideally suited to translate novel methodological developments and the resulting data into useful time-resolved 3-D blood flow visualizations.”
Through the partnership, Dr. Markl’s experience using EnSight to analyze medical imaging data will help CEI to continue to enhance and adapt EnSight and other software products to meet the specific needs of medical researchers. Dr. Markl will also consult directly with other researchers looking to incorporate EnSight visualization technology into their own work.
CEI offers a complete suite of engineering and scientific visualization tools, from meshing to plotting to animation, on all major operating systems. The company’s products can be run on everything from laptops to workstations, clusters and supercomputers, with animations displayed in stereo and in immersive VR. CEI has corporate headquarters in Apex, N.C., and authorized distributors around the world.
About the Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Medical Physics
The Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Medical Physics at the University Medical Center Freiburg currently employs 40 scientists with a background in physics, chemistry, and computer science. The department’s goal is to develop new methods and techniques in the field of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The group is one of the world’s leading MR research laboratories and provides an ideal environment for innovative and clinically relevant MR methodology development.
Flow sensitive in-vivo 4D MRI in a normal thoracic aorta. Time-resolved 3D particle traces demonstrate normal systolic filling of the aorta and supra-aortic branches (color coding = absolute local velocity).