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An Unprecedented Partnership With Dilon Technologies

July 1997, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology

Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology's (CIT) recent award to Dilon Technologies, Inc., of Williamsburg, marks the first time a Virginia company, university and federal lab will work together through the CIT Technology Award$ program. CIT's Technology Award$ program leverages company funds for project development at Virginia's universities, but never before has a federal laboratory also been a part of the award.

"We've created a whole new level of partnership," said Susan Meek, CIT's manager of Technology Award$. "We're excited to see that our network of partner resources is using each other's expertise to complete projects to make Virginia companies even more competitive."

Jefferson Lab, in Newport News, will provide the base technology for a Gamma Camera Imaging System product that will be applied to the procedure of scintimammography used for diagnosis in breast cancer detection. In addition, Jefferson Labs and Dilon have signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) and have initiated a project to evaluate the technology in conjunction with test programs, improve the technology based on those programs, and transfer the technology into a commercial product for use in medical imaging applications, with the initial focus on breast cancer diagnosis. The University of Virginia (UVA) Health Sciences Center will be conducting the test programs including phantom studies to identify the detector type with the greatest suitability for breast imaging and clinical testing. UVA is already conducting a study in scintimammography for the American Cancer Society.

Said Eileen Heveron, CIT's director of intellectual resources, "This is yet another indication that Virginia has world-class research facilities working on world-class projects to improve the economic vitality of Virginia companies and quality of life for its citizens."

Upon completion of the project, Dilon anticipates the existence of a fully functional compact system for scintimammographic imaging. The results of the study will then be used to specify the design parameters and predicted imaging characteristics of the first version of the commercial device. In terms of jobs, companies and competitiveness, an international effort is underway to create a new generation of mobile mammographic facilities. The product of this project could function as a part of such a facility.