Year/Course: 2022-2023
Project type: Medical

Inventors: Dr. Isaac Johnson, CRUK & Verinnogen, and Mike Irvine, Verinnogen
Mentor: Dr. Elena de Orbe, i-Teams alumni

Many experiments and treatments rely on measuring and monitoring the sizes of three-dimensional structures in the body. Typically tumours are measured using two caliper-based measurements, which are then used to provide an estimate of the three-dimensional volume, assuming a simple geometric shape. However these measurements are often not consistent between researchers and can sometimes compromise whole research studies, requiring additional experiments and cost.

The inventor recognised this as an area where a new approach was needed and hence developed a prototype device capable of more accurately tracing the shape of a heterogeneous surface. This was built using standard off-the-shelf components and has given encouraging results based on a range of 3D printed objects.

The inventor is now working towards a second prototype device which will be used to test the method on real animals.

The measuring device is contact-based so can only be used for externally-accessible structures. However being contact-based brings the opportunity to include other measurements such as temperature or tissue mechanics as well as just the geometric volume.

The question for the i-Team is where there is a greatest need for this new method of measuring. Calipers continue to be used because they are very quick and cheap. Where could the unique capabilities of this device bring the greatest value and be most likely to be adopted in practice? By identifying and interviewing relevant experts, the i-Team has the opportunity to help Verinnogen define the next steps of their commercialisation journey.