ITTC Project

Evaluation of the Potential Impact of Telecytology of Cell Block Preparations from Pap Smears

Project Award Date: 06-01-2010


The Pap smear has been proven to be the most useful test for the detection of precancerous and cancerous lesions of the cervix. Unfortunately, pap smear preparations produce thick slides with many layers of cells. This complicates diagnosis, and because there are many focal planes, digitization of slides is impractical.

Our research studies the benefits of producing cell blocks from Pap smears, which would allow samples to be condensed and sliced thinly. Thin slices simplify diagnosis and permit accurate digitization. Digital slide images make it possible to consult with expert pathologists remotely and can be better used in education, either in published material or online. Archival of digital images is substantially easier than glass slides. Finally, digital slide images permit computer-assisted diagnosis. Automated computer vision techniques are able to prescreen digital images to flag suspicious regions and to discard areas of images that contain clearly healthy tissue. Automated prescreening alleviates the fatigue faced by professional pathologists, who must often spend hours peering through microscopes. Visual fatigue is known to reduce diagnosis accuracy. Our research investigates the use of hierarchical feature extraction techniques to learn complex visual features from slide images that can be used to better prescreen digital cell block images.


Faculty Investigator(s): Brian Potetz (PI)

Student Investigator(s): Kriti Chakdar

Project Sponsors

Primary Sponsor(s): Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation (IAMI) at University of Kansas Medical Center

Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

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Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

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Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

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