Maharashtra-born research student at Johns Hopkins Univ., develops world’s first 5D ultrasound system to assist cancer detection and treatment

An Indian researcher’s work at Baltimore’s prestigious John Hopkins University may now help surgeons detect and treat cancerous tumors while operating on patients.

Maharashtra-born Nishikant Deshmukh, 33, claims to have developed the world’s first five-dimensional ultrasound system that will help surgeons in detecting cancerous tumors, newsreports said.

His research findings were first presented at the 2015 Information Processing in Computer Assisted Interventions (IPCAI).

Deshmukh, who graduated in Computer Engineering from Pune University, developed the 5-D technology as a part of his PhD thesis.

“My technology can give vision to the surgeon for locating tumors while operating upon patients,” he was quoted as saying in newsreports. Deshmukh’s breakthrough is significant as doctors at present mostly use two-dimensional technology for an ultrasound. While some do use advanced 3D graphics, the time taken to generate such images makes it difficult for surgeons to use it while operating.

Deshmukh has also integrated the elastography system with the minimally invasive Da Vinci robotic system, which has been used clinically since the year 2000.

In a nutshell, Deshmukh’s technology combines 3D ultrasound B-mode and the 3D ultrasound elastography volumetric data and make them available in real-time.

Deshmukh’s motivation comes from a personal loss - that he had lost a family member to cancer in India. “The disease could not be diagnosed at an early stage,” he said. The researcher also added that his technology would help in early-stage breast or prostate cancer detection. “It will help a radiologist to determine whether the abnormally grown tissue is a potentially fatal tumor or a more benign cyst,” he said adding that the technology would especially be useful in rural corners of developing nations where MRI is expensive and rarely available.

Deshmukh came to the Johns Hopkins University in 2008 to pursue his higher studies. Earlier, he worked at the National Stock Exchange of India in Mumbai for three years. He said his knowledge in parallel and distributed computing at NSE helped him to do advanced research in cancer imaging at The Johns Hopkins University.

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