Erasmus Medical Centre (EMC), Netherlands
Erasmus MC is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe (13.000 employees), and is scientifically leading in many fields. The Thoraxcenter of Erasmus MC is one of the world leaders in Interventional Cardiology and imaging of vulnerable plaque with intravascular ultrasound and optical coherence tomography. 1,800 coronary interventions and over 500 intravascular ultrasound procedures are performed annually. The Thoraxcenter Biomedical Engineering Department is a group of about 40 technical researchers dedicated to cardiology. The group, headed by Prof. A. van der Steen, has a 40 year history of key advancements in the field of ultrasound imaging, IVUS, contrast agents, 3D imaging and image processing and procedure guidance in cardiovascular interventions. Direct collaborations with clinicians within interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, and experimental cardiology assure a clear vision on clinical requirements, possibilities for preclinical testing and rapid further evaluation. The group has extensive expertise in the design and realization of ultrasound transducers, including IVUS. The world’s first IVUS probes were built and tested here. Excellent facilities and equipment for acoustic measurements, construction of ultrasound phantoms and test setups are available.
Erasmus has played a key role in research on intravascular ultrasound imaging for the last 30 years. This includes realization of the first IVUS catheters, IVUS imaging approaches, IVUS processing to measure blood flow, tissue elasticity and plaque composition. All expertise and equipment for IVUS device design; testing and evaluation are in place.