Our photoacoustic products are unique in their ability to provide rapid functional images of structures such as tumors, blood vessels, lymph nodes, and other tissues at a fraction of the cost of most current medical imaging devices.


  • Improved Image Quality Using Endra Nexus 128

    Improved Image Quality Using Endra Nexus 128

    December 10, 2012

    Dominique Van de Sompel et al. described methodologies for improving image quality by correcting for temperature changes during long scans using Endra's Nexus 128, the only commercially available fully 3-D photoacoustic CT scanner.

    This research conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Sam Gambhir at Stanford University demonstrated significant improvement in image quality using both phantoms and tissue samples.

    These improvements have already been incorporated into the Nexus 128. Endra is always seeking ways to improve its products and technology by working with research partners, customers, and leaders in photoacoustic imaging technologies and applications. Please contact us to learn more.

    Click here to read more: Van de Sompel D, Sasportas LS, Dragulescu-Andrasi A, Bohndiek S, Gambhir SS (2012) Improving Image Quality by Accounting for Changes in Water Temperature during a Photoacoustic Tomography Scan. PLoS ONE 7(10): e45337. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045337

    MIP projections showing the effect of correcting for decreasing temperature and hence decreasing speed of sound. By applying the speed of sound correction, the vessel bifurcation in the lower left quadrant becomes visible (red arrow).

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  • Activatable Photoacoustic Probe Using Endra's Nexus 128

    Activatable Photoacoustic Probe Using Endra's Nexus 128

    September 9, 2012

    Endra's Nexus 128, the only commercially available fully 3-D photoacoustic CT scanner, was highlighted in several presentations at the World Molecular Imaging Congress in Dublin on September 5 - 8, 2012.

    Endra's Nexus 128, the only commercially available fully 3-D photoacoustic CT scanner, was highlighted in several presentations at the 2012 World Molecular Imaging Congress in Dublin, Ireland, September 5 - 8, 2012. Anca Dragulescu-Andrasi et al. presented work detailing the development of activatable photoacoustic probes using the Nexus 128 in the laboratory of Dr. Sam Gambhir at Stanford University.

    Click here to read: "Activatable probes for photoacoustic imaging of furin activity in living mice".

    (A) Chemical structure of the photoacoustic furin probe (B) Mechanism of probe oligomerization upon furin enzyme cleavage

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  • Endra's Nexus 128 Fully 3-D Photoacoustic CT Scanner Highlighted in Several Presentations at 2012 World Molecular Imaging Congress

    Endra's Nexus 128 Fully 3-D Photoacoustic CT Scanner Highlighted in Several Presentations at 2012 World Molecular Imaging Congress

    September 5, 2012

    Endra's Nexus 128, the only commercially available fully 3-D photoacoustic CT scanner, was highlighted in several presentations at the 2012 World Molecular Imaging Congress held in Dublin, Ireland, September 5-8, 2012.

    Endra's Nexus 128, the only commercially available fully 3-D photoacoustic CT scanner, was highlighted in several presentations at the 2012 World Molecular Imaging Congress held in Dublin, Ireland, on September 5 - 8, 2012.


      • Advantages of Fully-3D Photoacoustic CT imaging
      • Nexus 128 imaging workflow
      • Molecular probe uptake applications
      • Tumor vasculature quantification

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  • Endra Life Sciences Launches First Ever Commercial Photoacoustic 3-D Tomographic Imaging System

    Endra Life Sciences Launches First Ever Commercial Photoacoustic 3-D Tomographic Imaging System

    April 16, 2010

    Nexus 128 System Produces Vascular Images in Seconds without Contrast Agents

    Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Endra Life Sciences today announced the launch of the Nexus 128, a preclinical photoacoustic computed tomography (CT) scanner for small animal imaging. The system is used for simple, fast, non-invasive quantification of tumor vasculature and other physiological parameters for preclinical research. The Nexus 128 makes in vivo quantification of tumor vasculature possible without the need for contrast agents and helps preclinical researchers gain deeper insight into areas such as how drugs treat disease and cancer progression, without ionizing radiation or complicated equipment.

    Endra Life Sciences was founded by Enlight Biosciences, a funding syndicate of six of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies focused on commercializing transformational technologies.

    "Photoacoustic imaging combines ultrasound with the rich contrast of optical imaging, based on the same principles that give cells, organs, and tissues their unique colors," said Michael Thornton, Endra's President and Chief Operating Officer. "It provides high spatial resolution at depth far exceeding that of conventional optical imaging techniques such as fluorescence and bioluminescence. We are excited to make this technology widely available to cancer biology researchers for the first time."

    "Mouse models of cancer are used extensively to study tumor development and the effects of new therapies, but until now the tools to measure this effect have had depth limitations," said Dr. Rakesh Jain, Director, Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology at Harvard Medical School, and Enlight Biosciences Advisor. "The ability to track abnormal vessel growth and normalization in vivo with high resolution throughout a tumor mass during therapeutic intervention is a powerful new capability that will be widely used in cancer research."

    The name Nexus 128 represents the convergence of light and sound in a powerful new imaging approach. It employs a detector array consisting of 128 individual acoustic receiver elements arranged in a patented geometry. The system generates multispectral, quantitative, three dimensional images of tumor vasculature and hemoglobin concentration in under 2 minutes, and completes volumetric anatomical scans in as little as 12 seconds. "For the past several years, our research group has developed quantitative photoacoustic spectroscopy imaging techniques and applied them to mouse models of cancer," said Dr. Keith Stantz, faculty member of Purdue University. "We have been using Endra's photoacoustic tomography prototype system regularly for the past year. The simplified animal handling and high throughput allow us to image entire study groups within a couple of hours."

    The Nexus 128 is available for order as of April 18, 2010. Endra Life Sciences is launching the product at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 101st Annual Meeting 2010 in Washington, DC, April 17 - 21, booth # 1848. The Nexus 128 system will also be featured in a poster by Dr. Stantz and his colleagues from Purdue. The poster, titled "Development of short peptide probe to detect ovarian tumors in mouse xenograph model," will be presented during the poster session: 39 Tumor Biology on Tuesday, April 20th at 2:00-5:00pm.

    About Photoacoustic Imaging

    Short pulses of light absorbed deep within tissue create sound waves that are detected by ultrasound receivers to create an image. This non-invasive approach provides high contrast imaging at depths, and spatial resolution far exceeding existing optical techniques. The photoacoustic effect, a precursor to photoacoustic imaging, was discovered in 1880 by Alexander Graham Bell. Bell showed that energy from sunlight can be transformed into a sound wave. Recent advances in pulsed laser sources, ultrasound devices, and image reconstruction algorithms have enabled the photoacoustic effect to be applied to biological imaging. Endra's Nexus 128 is the first commercial photoacoustic imaging device designed specifically for high throughput, quantitative, in vivo small animal imaging.

    About Endra

    Endra Inc., based in Ann Arbor, MI, is dedicated to the commercialization of photoacoustic imaging, a groundbreaking approach enabling rapid, high contrast, high resolution functional and anatomical imaging at depth, without the need for contrast agents. Endra technologies provide fast, simple non-invasive solutions for quantification of tumor vasculature, blood oxygen saturation, and imaging of dye labeled molecular probes. Endra is a portfolio company of Enlight Biosciences. Additional information about Endra can be found at

    About Enlight Biosciences

    Enlight Biosciences is a Boston-based company established in partnership with Abbott, Eli Lilly, Johnson and Johnson, Merck, Pfizer and Novartis to develop breakthrough innovations that will fundamentally alter drug discovery and development.

    Enlight was co-founded by PureTech Ventures and academic luminaries led by Dr. H. Robert Horvitz, Enlight's SAB Chair, Nobel Laureate, Howard Hughes Investigator, and Koch Professor of Biology at MIT; Dr. Sam Gambhir, Professor of Radiology, Chief of the Division of Nuclear Medicine, Stanford; Dr. Rakesh Jain, Cook Professor of Tumor Biology at MGH and Harvard Medical School; Dr. Raju Kucherlapati, co-founder of Millennium and Abgenix, Cabot Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School; and Dr. Bennett Shapiro, PureTech Ventures Senior Partner, former Executive Vice President of Basic Research and Worldwide Licensing at Merck & Co., Inc.


    Timothy Morgan
    Product Manager
    Endra Inc.
    35 Research Drive
    Ann Arbor, MI 48103

    Cory Tromblee
    MacDougall Biomedical Communications

    SOURCE Endra Life Sciences

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  • Endra Technology Featured in The Economist

    Endra Technology Featured in The Economist

    June 4, 2009

    Biomedical technology: A novel scanning technique that combines optics with ultrasound could provide detailed images at greater depths.

    If light passed through objects, rather than bouncing off them, people might now talk to each other on “photophones”. Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated such a device in 1880, transmitting a conversation on a beam of light. Bell's invention stemmed from his discovery that exposing certain materials to focused, flickering beams of light caused them to emit sound—a phenomenon now known as the photoacoustic effect.

    It was the world's first wireless audio transmission, and Bell regarded the photophone as his most important invention. Sadly its use was impractical before the development of optical fibres, so Bell concentrated instead on his more successful idea, the telephone. But more than a century later the photoacoustic effect is making a comeback, this time transforming the field of biomedical imaging.

    A new technique called photoacoustic (or optoacoustic) tomography, which marries optics with ultrasonic imaging, should in theory be able to provide detailed scans comparable to those produced by magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) or X-ray computerised tomography (CT), but with the cost and convenience of a hand-held scanner. Since the technology can operate at depths of several centimetres, its champions hope that within a few years it will be able to help guide biopsy needles deep within tissue, assist with gastrointestinal endoscopies and measure oxygen levels in vascular and lymph nodes, thereby helping to determine whether tumours are malignant or not. There is even scope to use photoacoustic imaging to monitor brain activity and gene expression within cells.
    To create a photoacoustic image, pulses of laser light are shone onto the tissue being scanned. This heats the tissue by a tiny amount—just a few thousandths of a degree—that is perfectly safe, but is enough to cause the cells to expand and contract in response. As they do so, they emit sound waves in the ultrasonic range. An array of sensors placed on the skin picks up these waves, and a computer then uses a process of triangulation to turn the ultrasonic signals into a two- or three-dimensional image of what lies beneath.

    Click here to read complete article.

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  • Endra Technology Presented at 2009 World Molecular Imaging Conference

    Endra Technology Presented at 2009 World Molecular Imaging Conference

    May 11, 2009

    Research using Endra's preclinical technology for investigating mouse tumor vasculature recently presented at the 2009 World Molecular Imaging Conference.

    Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is an emerging imaging modality that combines the most compelling features of optics and ultrasound, providing both high optical contrast and high ultrasound resolution at depth. PAT's unique properties make it superior to other modalities in generating information-rich structural and functional images in multiple critical disease areas, including applications within cancer, cardiovascular disease, dermatology, women's and men's health, and inflammation. PAT can generate powerful images based on inherent soft-tissue contrast without external contrast agents, and is also extremely well-suited for use with existing and specialized photoacoustic contrast agents. The equipment is inexpensive, safe, and well understood, making the platform ideal for clinical use.

    Photoacoustic signals are induced by pulsed laser illumination. When laser energy is absorbed by biological tissues, the resulting very minimal heating of the tissues generates ultrasonic waves. The waves can be detected by an ultrasonic transducer and then used to create an image of the optical absorption distribution inside the tissues. Different soft tissue types in the body differentially absorb laser light of different wavelengths, providing high inherent contrast.

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  • Endra Technology in Nature Photonics

    Endra Technology in Nature Photonics

    March 1, 2009

    Photoacoustic imaging, using laser light to stimulate the emission of ultrasonic waves from tissue inside the human body, potentially offers a route to far deeper imaging than possible with conventional optical techniques, reports Duncan Graham-Rowe.

    Bouncing light off biological tissue has become a mainstay of modern medical imaging and microscopy. But most existing techniques are limited in their ability to penetrate the body by more than just a few millimetres. However, a technique called photoacoustics, a marriage of optical and ultrasonic technologies, could be about to change the situation.

    The idea behind photoacoustics, which is also known as optoacoustics, is simple: use light to stimulate interior tissue so that it gives off acoustic waves in the ultrasonic range. These waves can be then be detected using wide-band ultrasonic transducers and used to build up high-resolution images of subsurface tissue structure (Fig. 1).

    “We want to reach what’s called super depth,” says Lihong Wang, at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, USA, and one of the most active researchers
    in the field of photoacoustics. The hope, he says, is that by using photoacoustics clinicians will be able to carry out safe, high resolution three-dimensional imaging and microscopy at depths of centimetres rather than millimetres, and without the use of potentially harmful ionizing radiation, such as X-rays.

    In addition, photoacoustics should open up new opportunities for diagnosing, monitoring and treating diseases. For example, it could help to guide biopsy needles deep beneath the skin, assist endoscopic techniques for diagnosing gastrointestinal cancer, measure oxygen saturation levels in haemoglobin and study subsurface vascular and lymph nodes to visualize and quantify malignant tumours. It can even be used to probe the brain and to monitor gene expression.

    Although the latest photoacoustic apparatus make use of state-of-the-art laser technology, the first examples of using light to stimulate acoustic waves date back to the nineteenth century. As far back as 1880, Alexander Graham Bell discovered that it was possible to make a thin disk emit sound when exposed to a beam of pulsing sunlight. Initially Bell sought to use the effect as a means of communication, converting sound into the light, sending it through free space and then converting it back into sound again. “He called it the photophone,” says Wang. Needless to say, his other idea, the telephone, proved a more popular invention, not least because it didn’t have issues with line-of-sight.

    After that, photoacoustics was largely ignored until the 1970s when the development and availability of lasers triggered an interest in its use for nondestructive testing. But it wasn’t until the late 1980s that its medical applications started to become apparent. Initially interested in the effects of laser absorption on tissue, Alexander Oraevsky, then at the USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow, started to look at how the interaction could
    be used for imaging — a technique he dubbed optoacoustics.

    His initial experiments showed that cells produced pulses of ultrasound in response to the pulses of laser light. Oraevsky left Moscow in 1991 to continue his work at the University of Texas, and has since become vice president of research and development with Fairway Medical Technologies, in Houston, Texas.

    Fairway, with its commercialization partner, Seno Medical Instruments of San Antonio, Texas, is one of a handful of companies now developing the technology for real-life applications.

    Oraevsky explains that as light passes through the tissue certain wavelengths are preferentially absorbed by cells. The absorbed energy causes a very small amount of heating that makes the cell swell. This so-called thermoelastic expansion produces acoustic pressure waves that can then be detected by
    placing ultrasonic transducers on the skin.

    But to get really useful high-resolution imagery requires lasers capable of emitting nanosecond pulses, says Oraevsky. “You have to use a short enough pulse to ensure that the energy is delivered before it can escape as pressure,” he says. Wang agrees. Nanosecond pulsing, along with lasers capable of high spectral purity, is really necessary if you want to obtain very high spatial resolution, says Wang.

    What makes photoacoustics different from other three-dimensional imaging techniques — such as optical coherence tomography (OCT), two-photon microscopy and confocal microscopy (see Table 1) — is that it relies on light being absorbed rather scattered. One of the reasons that these other techniques are so limited in how deep they can delve is that back-scattered light is diffused by the tissue, making it difficult to
    detect in any meaningful way.

    Click here to read the full article.

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