Trans-modal skin/body marker

Tuesday, 08 November 2011

Problem Being Solved

A variety of imaging technologies are available for the medical, biomedical and sports science industry and include X-ray, Computer Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Diagnostic sonography (ultrasound scanning), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and 3D Surface Scanning.

With such imaging, there is often a need to provide a point of reference with images produced by such modalities and there are various fiduciary skin markers available to suit each imaging technique. However, these markers are many times limited to specific modality categories and are often not designed to be interchanged, meaning that they need to be removed and alternative ones replaced between different scanning operations, leading to a risk of placement error and mis-registration of the various images produced.

Many markers also have difficulty in attaching to the skin, and some have very small surface areas increasing this problem. Furthermore, none of the known markers currently on the market are suitable for reliable recognition by 3D surface scanning technologies, which are increasingly used in diagnosis and analysis operations.

There is clearly a need for the development a multi-purpose skin/body marker to alleviate these disadvantages.


Ongoing research at the University of Ulster has led to the development of a trans-modal body marker designed to assist imaging modalities in clinical practice and fields associated with anthropometrics.

Through a combination of novel use of colour, material technologies and product design, U220 is positioned to support multiple imaging modalities and a range of image recognition software including ionising radiation methods, electromagnetic field methods, ultrasonic scanning, digital image capture, 3D surface scanning and skin marking for anatomical palpation.

We are actively seeking a strategic partner for the manufacturing and distribution of U220.


  • In addition to providing for a simplified process in regards to useability, U220 is positioned to allow for a streamlined procurement process whereby the same marker can be utilized with various imaging technologies (ie. visible by both MRI and X-Ray).
  • The marker is designed to be mass produced and disposable offering a more cost effective, hygienic and consistent approach to palpation-reliant imaging modalities.
  • The universal base of the marker has a multiform profile, with a hypoallergenic pressure sensitive adhesive protected before use with an easy to peel off backing with a visible geometric form, microencapsulated with a suitable internal imaging substances.
  • Potential usage includes: spinal mapping, pain positioning, fracture or internal injury surface identification, pre-operative marking, biopsy marking, posture mapping, anthropometrics acquisition using 3D scanning, flexion tests, multimodal data comparisons, and chiropractic examinations.

Opportunity/Partnership Sought

Sean Nelson
Head of Technology Transfer,

Office OF Innovation,
University Of Ulster,
Shore Road ,
Northern Ireland,
BT37 0QB

Tel: 02890366703