Category: News

29 Sep 2015

Step inside the human lung

Over the past couple of months our team have been lucky enough to experience Monash University’s Immersive Visualisation Platform (MVIP) – otherwise known as the CAVE2.

With a cylindrical 8-meter diameter video wall, the Cave takes ‘immersive’ to a whole new level – providing a 320-degree, virtual environment to showcase our imaging technology.

The Cave gives Andreas and the team the ability to transform 4Dx’s data into immersive images to interactively explore and present data in real time using high-performance computing to render datasets with unparalleled clarity.

MIVP Platform Manager & Senior Research Fellow Dr David Barnes was “thrilled” to work with 4Dx, believing that the partnership represents a critical platform to understand the lung imaging technology and enables new paradigms in exploring and comprehending data.

“4Dx’s world-leading imaging technology delivers unique data for visualisation. By working with 4Dx researchers, programmers were able to compute interactive, immersive displays of time-evolving volumetric datasets.”

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Monash University Professor Seible added, “MIVP’s immersive visualization has the potential to enhance the discoveries that might otherwise not be made on desktop screens that do not have enough resolution to tease out the finest details.”

The Cave has been instrumental in adding substantial value and understanding to the technology for stakeholders outside of the research by giving us the capability to transform 4Dx’s data into immersive images and to step inside a moving human lung.

11 Sep 2015

Andreas Fouras honoured in the Lawrence Creative Prize

Andreas Fouras, Monash University Professor of Engineering and Founder of Melbourne-based early stage medtech company, 4Dx, has been honoured as a finalist inThe Centenary Institute’s Lawrence Creative Prize – an award that recognises young Australian scientists.

Held last night in Sydney, Andreas was recognised by the judging panel for his state-of-the-art four dimensional X-ray technology that has the potential to revolutionise the future of respiratory diagnostics and treatment.

Speaking from Los Angeles where he is currently liaising with hospitals and physicians as part of the commercialisation of the 4DxV technology, Andreas said he was thrilled to be acknowledged by the prestigious award named after the late, great Neil Lawrence, who was a long-serving board member of the Institute.

“To be recognised as a finalist in the Lawrence Creative Prize is an important step in validating the clinical importance and the relevance of new developments in respiratory medicine.”

“The Award puts young Australian scientists and their work on the global map and it’s been an exciting opportunity to share and celebrate our work with other inspiring researchers.”

“On behalf of myself and my team at 4Dx, I’d like to thank the Centenary Institute, the judging panel and for recognising Australian early-career researchers and for creating such a prestigious biomedical award,” Prof. Fouras said.

13 Aug 2015

4Dx appoints clinical advisory board

Melbourne based medical technology start-up 4Dx has engaged the services of a Clinical Advisory Board to review and make clinical recommendations on the company’s four-dimensional lung imaging technology.

According to the company, the four-dimensional X-ray imaging technology (4DxV) provides a state-of-the-art, non-invasive way of understanding regional lung motion and airflow within the breathing lungs.

The Clinical Advisory Board consists Melbourne physicians across Radio Oncology, Molecular Imaging and Respiratory Diagnostics, who will advise on the clinical and commercial value of the technology.

Chaired by Professor Greg Snell, Head of the Lung Transplant Service at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital, members of the Board include Professor Rod Hicks, Head of Peter Mac’s Molecular Imaging and Targeted Therapeutics Laboratory and Associate Professor Louis Irving, Director of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

The Board is facilitated by experienced medtech executive, Matt Godden who was the former Director of Medtronic’s Australasian Cardiovascular business.

Founder and Executive Chairman of 4Dx Professor Andreas Fouras said the formation of the Clinical Advisory Board is an important step in validating and refining the technology before it seeks regulatory approval for its software.

“By engaging independent medical professionals, each an expert in their own field, we have the capability to better understand the clinical applications of our core technology and appreciate the limitations of current diagnostics.”

“The Clinical Advisory Board is the perfect place to pull apart and validate the technology and ensure that it’s fit for purpose and ultimately has medical buy-in and acceptance,” said Professor Andreas Fouras.

4Dx team commenced in-human studies of their 4DxV four-dimensional x-ray technology in three hospitals in the US and expect FDA approval for their software by the end of 2016.

19 Nov 2014

World COPD Day

World COPD Day is an annual event to improve the awareness and care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease around the world, organised by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a type of obstructive lung disease characterised by chronic, poor airflow (airflow limitation), and the inability to breath out fully (air trapping). It is typically worsening with time. Common symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, and sputum. The most common cause of COPD is tobacco smoking, with other factors such as air pollution and genetics playing a smaller role. The poor airflow is the result of a breakdown in lung tissue (known as emphysema), and small airway disease (known as bronchiolitis).

COPD affects nearly 5% of the world’s population. In 2012, it was ranked as the third-leading cause of death and is the only top-ten global killer that has an increasing rate year on year. The number of deaths caused by COPD is projected to continue increasing due to high smoking rates and an aging population in many countries.

Prevention: COPD is preventable by decreasing your exposure to smoke and improving the quality of air in both your home and workplace.

Management: No cure for COPD exists, but the symptoms are treatable and its progression can be delayed. Smoking cessation and supplemental oxygen have been shown to reduce mortality associated with COPD. Rehabilitation is a combination of exercise, disease management and counselling.

Global cost: COPD was estimated to result in economic costs of $2.1 trillion in 2010, $1.9 trillion of this from direct costs, such as medical care.

It’s not too late!

26 Jun 2014

4Dx tests Andor Tech’s Zyla sCMOS HF camera

We were recently approached by Andor Technology PLC to test their new Zyla sCMOS HF camera ahead of release. Andor Technology is a developer and manufacturer of high performance light measuring solutions (scientific digital cameras). Andor became a subsidiary of Oxford Instruments after it was purchased in December 2013.

As part of our testing program, we took multiple sequences of images using the Zyla sCMOS HF camera with our pre-clinical laboratory scanner. One of our images was chosen by Andor Technology to feature in the Zyla sCMOS HF product specification, and also on the front cover of their High Energy Detection brochure.

28 Mar 2014

Research ventilator development update

As part of our ongoing research and development activities, we have the need for robust, precise ventilation strategies — ideally interchangeable between physiological profiles and standard pulmonary function test manoeuvres.

Although many off the shelf research ventilators are available, our extensive and varied technical needs led us to engineer our own pressure-driven research ventilator, capable of delivering very small volumes of air gently. Additionally, we have integrated full trigger control synchronisation, for paired use with our complex X-ray imaging, bio-monitoring and nebulisation systems.

We have fine tuned our ventilator’s design, footprint and functionality over the years to suit our ever changing and increasingly complex R&D requirements. We now have a highly specialised and versatile small animal ventilator in our hands with significant operational flexibility through storable, user programmable macros. Suitable to ventilate a variety of small laboratory animals, our BreathVent research ventilator measures air pressure, flow, and will continuously ventilate across a broad range of volumes, pressures and respiratory rates.

Compared to more traditional piston driven and flow restrictor ventilators, our BreathVent ventilator is stable and accurate, with increased change response performance for inspiration, peak inspiration and expiratory pressure times, through the use of fast switching controller valves.

The ventilator unit is self-contained, compact and lightweight, making it suitable for travel (from our own practical need to bring it back and forth from the SPring-8 Japanese Synchrotron and to our collaborators’ research laboratories across Australia). It is small enough to squeeze into the tightest, space-poor experimental laboratories.

21 Nov 2013

Steve wins Stephen Wilkins Medal for technology

Congratulations to Steve, who today was presented with the inaugural Australian Synchrotron Stephen Wilkins Thesis Medal (2013) at the 2013 Australian Synchrotron User Meeting. The Australian Synchrotron Thesis Medal, now named in honour of the late Dr Stephen Wilkins, is awarded to annually to the most outstanding Australian or New Zealand thesis of the past two years whose work was undertaken at and acknowledges the Australian Synchrotron, or the Australian National Beamline Facility (ANBF), or whose work acknowledges and was undertaken under the auspices of the International Synchrotron Access Program (ISAP).

Steve’s thesis includes the developmental work of our 4D lung imaging technology, a four-dimensional lung X-ray imaging technology. The award recognises his practical lung imaging methods for blood flow and tissue movement in the lungs applied to various lung disease models such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and emphysema. With the support of the Australian Synchrotron’s International Synchrotron Access Program, Steve travelled to the SPring-8 synchrotron in Japan over a dozen times, spending more than 3000 hours conducting experiments and refining his X-ray imaging methods.

Image courtesy: The Australian Synchrotron.

19 Nov 2013

Andreas receives Excellence Award for technology

Congratulations Andreas, who tonight was awarded the 2013 Monash University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research by an Early Career Researcher. This exclusive award recognises Andreas’s development of the 4D X-ray lung imaging technology to improve human health.

The ceremony was held in Flemington, and addressed with a keynote by Victorian Premier Hon. Dr Denis Napthine to 200 attendees, including representatives from industry, Government, Monash University and award nominees.

Andreas pictured with Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence recipient and Dept. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering colleague Dr Kris Ryan.

01 Jul 2013

4Dx opens Melbourne office

With the beginning of the new financial year, we are pleased to announce that after successfully raising $1 million in seed capital, we have opened our Melbourne office and commenced operations. As a medtech startup, we plan to commercialise our 4D lung imaging software technology, an entirely new approach for pulmonary function testing, with the goal to bring our innovative software technologies into hospitals all over the world. A key ingredient in our progress to date has been support from Commercialisation Australia in the form of mentoring and a Skills and Knowledge Grant.

Lung disease results in the hospitalisation of 350,000 Australians each year and the escalating costs and lack of insight into these lung diseases is increasingly becoming a serious health issue. In fact Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is the only one of the world’s top ten killers with an increasing death rate. These matters are not unique to Australia, with over 440,000 Americans dying from lung cancer last year.

28 Jun 2013

Commercial use licence of our lung imaging technology secured

We have successfully completed negotiations with Monash University for exclusive commercial use of our 4-dimensional imaging technology. The agreement covers multiple separate patents that apply across all current major target geographies.

My research team at LDI developed the technology which directly images lung function in the breathing lung, something typically inferred from static images of the lungs’ shape. The technology presents an entirely new approach to pulmonary function testing and has the potential to make a difference in the diagnosis, treatment and management of lung diseases. This technology will detect changes in lung function sooner, with far less radiation than a standard CT scan, and has the potential to revolutionise the way we treat lung diseases.