Diagnosis and monitoring of inflammatory and arthritic diseases using a combined approach based on
ultrasound, optoacoustic and hyperspectral imaging

Project duration: 01.01.2013 - 30.06.2016    terminated


iacobus was supported by the European Commission's 7th RTD Framework Programme
Collaborative Project No. 305760



Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT - D


Norsk Elektro Optikk AS - N
Norwegian University of Science and Technology - N
Medical Faculty of the Justus-Liebig University of Giessen - D
tp21 GmbH, Berlin - D




The iacobus project will provide a novel image based diagnostic and monitoring application for arthritic inflammation of finger joints which significantly exceeds the existing standards in terms of image resolution and sensitivity and thereby allows an earlier and more reliable diagnosis.

For being widely usable as a screening tool, the diagnosis shall further be based on a non-invasive and cost-efficient imaging approach.

In iacobus, a European research consortium coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering is developing a new multimodal imaging system, which will facilitate the early diagnosis of arthritis affecting the hands. For the IACOBUS approach, the project partners NTNU and NEO will develop a hyperspectral imaging system for overview scanning of the hands and identifying potential sites of joint inflammation. In addition, the project partners Fraunhofer IBMT, EKSPLA and VERMON will develop a high-resolution 3D joint imaging platform. The system will combine optoacoustic and ultrasound imaging. Thereby it allows a detailed investigation of the inflamed joints identified by the hyperspectral imaging tool.   

The project implementation is divided in 4 phases:

Definition of specifications, Platform development, Platform integration and Clinical validation.

In a first step of the project the specifications will be set in which the technical aspects and the requirements with respect to a clinical use are defined.

In the second step, the technical development will be conducted in three work packages. NEO and NTNU will develop a hyperspectral imaging system for overview imaging and identification of suspicious joints while FRAUNHOFER, VERMON and EKSPLA will develop a 3D combined optoacoustic and acoustic finger scan tomography for detailed close-look 3D imaging of individual joints.

In phase three, prior to the first clinical use, the platform will undergo a strong validation using calibrated phantoms and statistical analysis of retrieved quantitative parameters for assessing the device's performance.

In the last project phase, the partner JLU will evaluate the multimodal device for detection of early arthritic inflammations at the renowned Kerckhoff-Klinik Bad Nauheim. For this purpose, patients with active rheumatic diseases of the fingers will be assessed clinically.

iacobus publishable summaries:   period 1   -   period 2



iacobus brochure


   Final Project Executive Summary & Publications  


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