Spectra: Portable Open Source Biomedical Imaging System

By on April 30, 2019
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Mindseye Biomedical has created a new open source biomedical imaging system called Spectra which is both safe and easy to use now available to preorder via the Crowd Supply website price from $299 for a Spectra Starter Kit.

The Spectra imager was designed using a tiny two-inch PCB outfitted with 32 electrodes arrayed around a circular tank (AKA phantom) and uses a non-ionizing AC to produce image reconstructions of any conductive material placed inside, organic or otherwise.

Spectra is an open source biomedical imaging system that is both safe and easy to use. It allows hackers and scientists to experiment with one of the technologies used in medical imaging — electrical impedance tomography (EIT). For the first time, anyone who wants to explore the fascinating world of medical physics can do so from their own home, without a multimillion dollar CATSCAN.

Would you like to see imagery of your own lungs? Use impedance cardiography to monitor heart activity? Measure the dielectric spectrum of a bone, a tumor, or a strawberry? Are you interested in gesture-based user interfaces? Consider what you would do if you could easily and safely experiment with, and contribute to, the science of biomedical imaging. And what we could all do if there existed a Commons for health care technology.

Features & Specifications:

  • Precise and highly configurable sensor hardware
    • Can be configured to use up to 32 electrodes.
    • Measures at 160,000 samples per second.
    • Each impedance measure is made using differential referencing and 16-bit resolution.
    • Includes automatic temperature calibration to ensure impedance accuracy.
    • Includes an accelerometer for motion mitigation.
  • Built for safety and ease-of-use
    • DC power removal filters meet IEC60601-1 safety specifications.
    • Compatible with a 3.5 V, 850 mAh battery (not included) for improved portability. On-board circuitry allows charging via the supplied USB cable. Up to 12 hours of battery life, depending on the specific use case.
    • Support for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to accommodate wireless data transmission.
  • Flexible open source software
    • Easy to install software supports time series impedance measurements, bio-impedance spectroscopy, and electrical impedance tomography, between 80 Hz and 80 kHz, with up to 32 electrodes.
    • Supports three different types of tomographic reconstruction: Graz Consensus, Gauss-Newton Method, and Back Projection. All three can be run in realtime and can be configured with any number of electrodes (e.g., 8, 16, or 32). You can record for analysis offline, and run in real-time.
    • Hardware includes Serial Wire Debug (SWD) programmers for easy firmware re-programming.
  • Portable design
    • Tiny, portable PCB measures approximately 2” by 2” and comes with a plastic enclosure.
    • Comes with a small, cylindrical ‘phantom’ tank (140 mm diameter, 60 mm height).
    • Comes with a flexible electrodes for imaging things that don’t fit in the phantom.



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About Luca Ruggeri

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