The National Science Foundation recently awarded a grant to an Orlando-based company and UCF Incubator client that could help improve cancer patients’ quality of life and potentially reduce the number of times patients are readmitted to a hospital.
“It’s a great honor,” said Rodney Bosley, CEO and director of SegAna. “As we move forward in advancing the commercialization of SegAna’s real-time cloud-based treatment guidance software for radiation cancer treatment, grants like these are vital.”
The company was founded to bring together technology developed at the University of Central Florida and University of California at Los Angeles into a commercially available simulated lung. The software NSF is helping fund is linked to the original research started at UCF. The grant is a cooperative grant with UCLA’s Department of Radiation Oncology.
Once fully developed, the technology would allow radiation oncologists to plan and deliver patient-specific, advanced treatments quickly and modified to suit the current tumor location and motion. More importantly, it will only deliver radiation to the tumor and avoid normal tissues, the researchers say.
SegAna’s technology will be a software framework that provides treatment guidance for radiotherapy. The software provides near real-time computing performance, facilitating clinical decision-making for adaptive radiotherapy.
“We’ve been able to show in our research how this technology will improve radiation treatment, the patient’s quality of life, and ultimately, reduce the number of times a patient is readmitted to the hospital,” Bosley said.
UCF Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professors Jihua Gou and Olusegun Ilegbusi provided the primary design of the printing materials and a 3-D printer to print a lung phantom with specific physical, radiological and mechanical properties. Gou’s expertise includes composite materials and structures, nanocomposite material and advanced manufacturing.
Ilegbusi is an expert on flow structure profiling of cardiovascular disease and image analysis, multifunctional nanocomposites and biosensors. They are cofounders of SegAna and said it was gratifying to see something they worked on make progress towards commercialization and helping improve lives.
The Small Business Innovation Research Phase 1 grant is valued at $225,000. SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal research/research and development that has the potential for commercialization. The mission of the SBIR program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.