Novel Static Screen Volumetric 3D Display for Medical Image Visualization Phase I proposal in response to NIH SBIR PAR-07-160 """"""""Innovations in Biomedical Computational Science and Technology Initiative"""""""", Submitted by Xigen LLC on 08/05/2008, in collaboration with Department of Radiation Oncology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institute Project Summary Recent advances in medical imaging technology have led to the availability of high resolution 3D and 4D images of patients. These images are inherently of 3D nature, yet all conventional displays use flat 2D screens that lack important depth cues. While rendering software using 2D display monitors are quite effective in presenting 3D aspects of the imaging modalities, they are often inadequate. This fundamental restriction greatly limits the capability of clinicians to perceive the complexity of the 3D anatomy and treatment plan, therefore affects the safety, speed, accuracy, and effectiveness of the treatment procedures. In contrast to conventional 2D display, the """"""""volumetric 3D display"""""""" we proposed herein possesses a true 3D display volume, and places physically each 3D """"""""voxel"""""""" in the displayed 3D images at the true 3D (x, y, z) spatial position. Each voxel, analogous to a pixel in a 2D image, emits light from that position to form a real 3D image in the eyes of viewers. The volumetric 3D display technology provides both physiological and psychological depth cues to human visual system to perceive 3D objects and is considered as the Holy Grail solution to true 3D visualization of medical image, as well as many other image display problems. For the past ten years, the principal investigator of this SBIR has been working on developing the state-of- the-art volumetric 3D display technologies. Although our previous development achieved a high success, one of the major limitation of this type of volumetric display systems is that its 3D display volume is generated by a large size moving screen that rotates constantly at the speed of 600~1800 RPM. The structure of a moving screen dramatically complicates the design, production, use, and maintenance of the display system, making it very delicate and fragile for daily uses and expensive for widespread adoption for medical image visualizations. Xigen LLC has recently made a technology breakthrough and developed a revolutionary new concept of volumetric 3D display, which totally eliminates any moving screen. The unique advantages of the proposed static screen volumetric 3D display technology include: z No moving screen;z Inherent parallel mechanism for 3D voxel addressing;z High spatial resolution;z Full color display is easy to implement z Fine voxel size (at a sub-millimeter level);z No blind spot on the display volume and the display volume can be of arbitrary shape. z Simple and elegant system structure design;z No special viewing glasses or any special eyewear is needed to view the 3D images;z No image jitter affect that is associated with moving screen;z Low-cost and low-maintenance. We have already performed considerable preliminary feasibility studies to verify the validity of the proposed concept and implementation strategy. We propose this SBIR program to build a high resolution version of prototype hardware and develop associated software platform.
The primary objective of this Phase I SBIR effort is to demonstrate the feasibility of a novel volumetric 3D display concept with the unprecedented static screen high resolution volumetric 3D display capability. We have already performed considerable preliminary feasibility studies to verify the validity of the proposed concept and implementation strategy. We propose this SBIR program to build a high resolution version of prototype hardware and develop associated software platform to demonstrate its application for medical image visualization. The major innovations of this SBIR effort include: z Introduction of the Laser Sub-surface Engraving technology into the dynamic volumetric 3D display;z The """"""""voxel column"""""""" concept that converts the crystal block and a 2D image projection into an addressable dynamic volumetric 3D display device, with a static screen;z The """"""""Time Division"""""""" and """"""""Diffraction Wheel"""""""" concepts that facilitate the ultra-high-resolution image projection from single DMD projection system for the high-resolution volumetric 3D display.
Specific aims of our Phase 1 program include:
Aim 1 : Working with clinical experts to define the 3D Crystal requirements;
Aim 2 : Design and build a high resolution prototype of the 3D-Crystal screen;
Aim 3 : Design and build a high resolution image projection engine;
Aim 4 : Develop image processing and control software for the 3D-Crystal volumetric 3D display system;
Aim 5 : Perform extensive tests on the volumetric 3D display prototype;
Aim 6 : Collaborate with imaging experts at Johns Hopkins to demonstrate advantages of volumetric 3D display for medical image visualization;
Aim 7 : Develop optimal design of """"""""clinically-testable"""""""" version of 3D-Crystal display based on the Phase 1 prototype experience, and prepare for Phase 2 work plan. The Phase 2 follow-on program should afford us with sufficient resources to design, build and test a clinically-testable version of functional high resolution volumetric 3D display. The proposed true 3D display technology adds one more dimension (literally and figuratively) to many medical image visualization applications. It is not meant to replace traditional 2D display and 3D rendering visualization systems, but rather to augment them, giving the viewers the unique power and flexibility to unambiguously visualize 3D complex information. If succeed, this ground breaking effort will have a significant impact on medical research and will revolutionize many current practices in medical image visualization, clinical diagnosis, radiation therapy planning, reconstructive and corrective surgery, medical education, training, and medical research. . Key Words Medical imaging, image visualization, image processing, three dimensional display, volumetric, static screen.