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Scott Tsai is shaping the way we diagnose disease

Quote from Scott Tsai: We’re engineers and scientists partnering with St. MIchael’s Hospital clinicians and researchers to help people live longer and celebrate more birthdays

As part of a diverse group of engineers and scientists partnering with St. Michael’s Hospital clinicians and researchers, Scott Tsai is developing microdevices that will improve ultrasound imaging and lead to more accurate diagnosis of cancer and blood diseases. These microdevices are called Lab on a Chip – the shrinking of biomedical processes so they fit on a chip the size of a credit card.

The external,Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology (iBEST) is a unique partnership between Ryerson University and St. Michael’s that brings together Ryerson’s engineering and science strengths with St. Michael’s biomedical research and clinical expertise to translate research concepts into real and testable healthcare solutions.

At iBEST, Tsai’s research focuses on a technique that uses tiny bubbles (called microbubbles) in the bloodstream to generate signals in ultrasound imaging. Currently, commercially-available microbubbles are inconsistent in size or aren’t the right size to give accurate results on certain ultrasound equipment. The device Tsai is creating lets clinicians precisely control the size and consistency of the microbubbles so they can generate better contrast and create a stronger signal. Ultimately, this improved imaging will lead to more accurate ultrasound results, more precise diagnostics and fewer false positives.

Tsai’s research will let clinicians see things they’ve never been able to see before and open new pathways for ultrasound as a diagnostic tool. With iBEST, his goal is to create a Lab on a Chip device that makes microbubbles at specific sizes for use by hospitals and doctors in Canada, the U.S. and beyond – bringing improved imaging and diagnosis to the world.

Scott Tsai
Associate Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science
Theme Lead, Biomedical Delivery Systems (BDS), Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology