Summary of the technology
Currently, cytologists are needed to examine smear samples under a microscope to visually assess the shape, size and stain pattern and determine if abnormal cells are present which could indicate cervical cancer. Alternatively, automated image analysis is used to determine nuclear density but cytologists are still needed to determine the presence of abnormal cells. The current processes are prone to human error and misdiagnosis can be up to 60%. They are also time consuming and costly.Sample user interface for spectral acquisition and classification.
Researchers at DIT have invented an easy to use, low cost, automated analyser that uses a pre-defined library of known cell signatures and a proprietary classification algorithm to detect abnormal cells with an accuracy of 99%. The analyser can be used with a regular microscope, an image analyser or as a point-of-care system with results displayed using an intuitive user interface. The image and the classification can be saved in digital format, stored in a national database, and sent to the medical team or experts worldwide
Description of the technology
Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) is seeking companies to license an automated diagnostic system for screening cervical cancer that has high specificity and high sensitivity. This low cost cervical cancer analyser uses algorithms to analyse Raman spectra of sample cells and classifies the samples by comparison with a pre-defined sample database. It can be used with conventional microscopes or more advanced image analysers and can also be used as a point-of-care system. The system is an improvement on current cervical cancer screening processes given more automation and less reliance on human subjectivity. As the analyser is small, fast and works with conventional microscopes, it is suitable for clinical applications.
This low cost cervical cancer analyser uses algorithms to analyse Raman spectra of sample cells and classifies the samples by comparison with a pre-defined sample database. It can be used with conventional microscopes or more advanced image analysers and can also be used as a point-of-care system. The system is an improvement on current cervical cancer screening processes given more automation and less reliance on human subjectivity. As the analyser is small, fast and works with conventional microscopes, it is suitable for clinical applications
Main advantages of its use
- Easy to use – no specialist training or experience in spectroscopy is required to operate the system and the system works with a common microscope.
- Fast – with low resolution scanning and less subjective interpretation of the results, the screening rate is faster than the 5-8 minutes per conventional smear tests.
- High sensitivity – greater than 99% accuracy in the classification of abnormal cells, improving cancer detection and reducing false negatives.
- High specificity – greater than 99% accuracy in the classification of normal cells reducing false positives.
- Less human error – as definite negatives can be eliminated automatically, more time can be given to the analysis of possible positives.
- Low cost : the technique uses a low cost, low resolution Raman spectroscope and operating costs are low as no
- Network friendly – digital classification data can be stored in databases and remotely sent to experts for consultation.
- Cell analysis applications e.g. most other cancers, forensics and food contamination
- The cervical cancer analyser can be used:• with a regular microscope• with an image analyser• or as a point-of-care system
About DIT Hothouse
Technology Transfer Office from IrelandDIT Hothouse
DIT Hothouse is the award-winning Innovation and Knowledge Transfer Office at Dublin Institute of Technology, responsible for the commercialisation of intellectual property arising from DIT research. DIT Hothouse is the hub of innovation and technology transfer activities in DIT, the place where business meets innovation. DIT Hothouse has a range of spinout technologies available to industry across Life Sciences, Food, ICT, Software, Industrial Technology, Manufacturing and Clean Technologies. Our team works with students, lecturers and research teams across DIT as well as with entrepreneurs, industry leaders and investors. Through the DIT Hothouse New Frontiers Startup Programme, we provide a startup incubator for innovative and promising startup companies.
The mission of DIT Hothouse is to:
Maximise the commercialisation of new technologies developed by the growing community of DIT researchers.
Partner with industry on research collaboration, research consultancy and contract research.
Support the launch of knowledge-intensive startups with the potential to generate significant economic benefits for Ireland through our startup support programmes and the DIT Hothouse Incubator.
At DIT Hothouse we assist:
Entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses.
Industry partners to find new technologies, research partners, and funding.
Investors to find high-potential opportunities.
DIT staff and students to commercialise their intellectual property (IP).
Technology transfer offices in the Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITTD), the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB), the Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dún Laoghaire (IADT) and the National College of Ireland (NCI) and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) in their commercialisation activities.
Whichever category you belong to, DIT Hothouse can provide you with unparalleled expertise, skills and resources to help you achieve your goals.
Since its establishment in 2007, DIT Hothouse has consistently outperformed all other Irish university technology transfer offices, completing up to 20% of the annual commercial technology transfer licences in Ireland. Through its Enterprise Ireland-funded Incubation Programmes, DIT Hothouse has helped create nearly 400 sustainable businesses that have attracted €195 million in equity investment and created approximately 1,700 quality jobs.