A Look Inside the Middle and Inner Ear

Dr. Robert Adamson demonstrates how the optical imaging device works.
Dr. Robert Adamson demonstrates how the optical imaging device works.

The great limitation in diagnosing and treating disorders of the middle and inner ear has always been the inability to obtain high-resolution images of the delicate structures inside this bone-encased area. This will no longer be the case, thanks to ultrasound and optical imaging devices developed by NSHA/Dalhousie researchers, Drs. Jeremy Brown and Rob Adamson.

“We’ve developed high-frequency ultrasound and optical coherence tomography probes that provide better images, more safely and less invasively, than any other technologies available,” says Dr. Brown, who’s been collaborating with Dr. Adamson and NSHA/Dal otolaryngologist Dr. Manohar Bance for nearly a decade. “Our commercial partner, Conavi Medical Inc., also sees great potential to use the probes in endoscopic heart and brain surgeries.”

Conavi has licensed the prototype ultrasound technology, which is already generating royalties for NSHA, Dalhousie and the research team. Drs. Brown and Adamson have launched Daxsonics Ultrasound to develop more ultrasound-based technologies—the start-up company already employs 15 people full-time and is earning substantial revenues after only three years in operation. A second spinoff company will focus on commercializing the optical technologies. 

This article is from NSHA Research Annual Report 2016 (PDF)