Software development looks to provide tools for cancer detection


ARI and Engineering Communications

Cancer Detection Technique
Cancer Detection Technique

The Illinois Applied Research Institute (ARI) has partnered with Professor Rohit Bhargava's Chemical Imaging and Structures Laboratory (CISL) to develop image processing software tools for cancer detection in human tissue samples. The work is accelerating research into new techniques for identifying cancer biomarkers, which will assist pathologists in making diagnoses.

CISL uses Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy to produce hyperspectral images of biological samples at over 1500 discrete frequencies. The technique generates very large (multi-terabyte) datasets which require hours of pre-processing before they can be used for research applications.

ARI is helping CISL efficiently process their data by translating existing desktop software functionality into automated workflows running on a server. The new software pipeline reduces processing time from 2 hours to 30 minutes per sample, resulting in overall time savings that is measured in days.

ARI is also developing new capabilities for CISL, such as robust 2D image stitching to create full size panoramas of large tissue samples. Moving forward with this will enable CISL scientists to conduct research on new kinds of biopsies taken from realistic clinical settings.

By combining the leading-edge research at CISL with the software development expertise at ARI, new cancer detection techniques are steadily being brought closer to application.