Oct 14 2015 Posted: 11:09 IST

Silicon Valley Startup Compact Imaging and NUI Galway’s TOMI Lab Successfully Co-Developing Miniature, Low-Cost Optical Sensor Technology


Compact Imaging, Inc. and NUI Galway today (14 October, 2015) jointly announced the second extension of their innovative research collaboration in MRO™ (Multiple Reference OCT), Compact Imaging’s miniature low-cost optical sensor technology.

Multiple Reference OCT brings the powerful non-invasive imaging and biometry capabilities of optical coherence tomography (OCT) to high volume non-clinical applications, such as mobile health monitoring, identity verification and non-destructive testing (NDT).

The original collaboration agreement was signed in 2012 and first extended in 2014. The new extension between both organisations runs through to 2017.

“Compact Imaging’s MRO technology is highly disruptive, offering greater than 100 times reduction in size and cost compared to conventional OCT systems,” said Don Bogue, CEO of Compact Imaging. “Ultimately, MRO photonic modules will be consistent in size, cost and operating power with integration into mobile monitoring devices.”

Compact Imaging’s multiple reference OCT, or MRO, technology addresses the size, cost, complexity and operating power limitations of conventional clinic-scale OCT systems. Conventional OCT was first commercialised in the early 2000’s and its noninvasive, non-ionizing imaging capabilities have revolutionized diagnostic imaging in clinical and research settings. MRO, by contrast, is designed for use in high volume mobile monitoring applications. The Company’s IP centres on its MRO system.

Professor Martin Leahy, Chair of Applied Physics at NUI Galway and Director of the Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging (TOMI) Laboratory, will continue to direct the collaboration’s research efforts in Galway. Professor Leahy said: “This further substantial cash investment is a very welcome endorsement of our work by the board of Compact Imaging and its investors. The collaboration has been very successful because both sides understand the need to align our interests. Our interest in providing substantial research topics for our PhD students and publishing our results has always been wholeheartedly supported by Compact Imaging, not least through their rapid assessment and protection of generated intellectual property. In turn, together we have been able to deliver substantial advances of the technology and its applications which are clearly valued by Compact Imaging.”

The research collaboration combines NUI Galway’s globally-recognised expertise in OCT and other advanced biological imaging techniques with Compact Imaging’s engineering development and intellectual property in OCT and MRO. Compact Imaging and NUI Galway researchers have been working together since 2012, leading to the successful demonstration of several new MRO applications, creation of significant IP and publication of numerous research papers. The original two-year research collaboration successfully demonstrated the application of MRO technology in areas such as creating subdermal fingerprint images and production testing of industrial materials.

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