Tel: +44 7960 989797

Email: gro.xinortoetso@ofni

Bone StructurefineSA® has the potential to evaluate bone structure without the use of radiation as part of a routine spine MRI (click here for further details);

Liver FibrosisfineSA has been evaluated for the measurement of fibrosis in the Liver (click here for further details);

Bone Disease

Bone disease, including osteoporosis is a significant and growing public health problem due in part to the aging population. There are more than 230,000 fractures due to osteoporosis every year in the UK and an estimated 3 million people have been diagnosed with the condition. Osteoporosis is unfortunately often a silent condition, only being diagnosed after a fragility fracture has been sustained and some fractures are associated with increased morbidity and mortality.

Osteoporosis is not a normal feature of aging nor is it a condition limited to the elderly. It is a concern for the general population. Bone loss has been observed in cancer patients treated with chemotherapy (with or without hormone ablation therapy), in individuals with eating disorders, those with digestive diseases, some individuals using glucocorticoids and in diabetes patients on certain medications.

Diagnosing osteoporosis

The current standard for diagnosis, bone mineral density measured by dual energy absorptiometry (DXA), lacks the necessary resolution to provide information on bone microarchitecture, which is known to diminish during osteoporosis, and does not fully explain fracture risk. Trabecular and cortical bone microarchitecture is thought to be the key determinant of bone strength/fracture resistance but a non-invasive, ionising radiation free, in-vivo method applicable to central sites to determine this is not currently available.

High resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) is the only modality currently able to provide a high resolution characterisation of bone microarchitecture in vivo although its use as a method for frequent follow-up is limited by the high levels of subject ionising radiation.

fineSA and osteoporosis

fineSA provides a quantitative measure of trabecular bone structure, one of the key determinants of bone fracture resistance. Investigations show that fineSA could provide additional high resolution structural information.

In both preclinical and clinical studies, we have demonstrated that fineSA enables fast, non-invasive in-vivo characterization of trabecular bone structure. Our preclinical study was done in collaboration with Cardiff University, and our clinical bone study was done in collaboration with Cambridge University and the Addenbrooke’s NHS Trust.

Liver Fibrosis

Worldwide liver disease has major health implications in terms of mortality, morbidity and health related costs.

Liver disease has many causes including viral infection, autoimmune response, prescribed medications, metabolic abnormalities and toxins; the most common causes of liver disease are alcohol misuse, drug abuse, and hepatitis B and C. It is one of the few conditions worldwide that is rising in prevalence and has become the fifth most common cause of death in the UK. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), associated with high body mass index, insulin resistance and obesity, is emerging as a major disease.

Although liver disease may have different causes, fibrosis (the response to injury in the liver) occurs in most liver diseases both acute and chronic. In fibrosis, there is excess deposition of collagen and other proteins within the liver tissue. If the injury to the liver is sustained, fibrosis progresses forming connections, which alter the function, architecture and appearance of the liver.

Cirrhosis, the final stage of liver disease, can result in liver failure and there is the associated risk of developing liver cancer. This is a significant public health issue. For example, in the USA cirrhosis causes 45,000 deaths per year with 150,000 hospitalisations costing billions of dollars.

Diagnosing and treating liver disease

Diagnosis can be made from a number of clinical and biochemical parameters but the gold standard for confirmation of the disease has traditionally been liver biopsy, which is invasive and carries with it risk and sampling error. Because of its invasiveness, it is often performed too late for intervention to be effective. A new method of early diagnosis is urgently required.

fineSA and liver disease

As the fibrosis progresses, the tissue structure in the liver changes, which is illustrated in the histology slides shown below. They show the change in structure from healthy tissue to early stage fibrosis and advanced fibrosis.

In pre-clinical and clinical pilot studies, fineSA has been shown to demonstrate differences in liver tissue architecture. Analysis of data collected from multiple adjacent fineSA prisms produces spectra that represent the distribution of tissue structure within the range 0.5mm to 5mm for chosen regions of interests (ROI). To demonstrate the spatial distribution of features, fineSA spectra can be represented visually as RGB maps as shown in the figure below; green indicates tissue structure within the wavelength range 0.56mm to 1.00mm, blue 1.0mm to 3.0mm and red 3.0mm to 5.0mm.

In pre-clinical studies, fineSA prisms were acquired in ex-vivo pig’s and ox liver and showed differences in the liver architecture between the two. The figure below shows that pig’s liver on the left has well defined fibrotic structure within the range of 0.5mm to 5mm; the corresponding RGB map shows a predominance of tissue texture with larger structural wavelengths. In contrast, the ox liver on the right does not exhibit well-defined fibrotic structure and the corresponding RGB map displays a wider range of tissue texture with smaller structural wavelengths.

Examples of RGB maps obtained from two patient datasets acquired in a clinical pilot study with University of Arizona Tucson are shown below, and clearly show that the liver tissue architecture is different for each individual.

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