NEWS

Diagnostic tools

The idea was conceived of and worked out by Greek scientists in 1991. Two years later, the program was approved by the second Community Support Framework (co-funded by the European Union and the Development Ministry’s general secretariat for research and technology) and completed in four years, with excellent results. The two diagnostic tools, one for the early diagnosis of cerebral edemas in patients with head injuries and one for the easier and faster diagnosis of diseases that cause the deformation of red blood cells, such as thalassemia. «There are many head injuries in Greece because of the large number of road accidents, particularly with motorcycles. The urgent need for early diagnosis of cerebral edemas is what led us to the idea,» said Dasios, who headed the project. «The human brain is the only organ where an edema has no room to spread, resulting in extreme pressure that cuts off vital functions in the brain. The conventional diagnostic method is to drill a hole into the skull to insert an optic fiber that records the pressure. But when there is already heavy pressure, it is too late. The instrument we made is non-invasive and records changes in the range of brain frequencies and pinpoints the edema. «The second instrument does what other known techniques cannot do, that is, see the non-spherical shape of particles. This instrument is useful not only in medical diagnosis but in biotechnological applications and in industry,» he said. Scientific ideas studied mathematically were subjected to experimental checks and became tools after long years of work on the part of many scientists in different university foundations. From the Research Institute for Chemical Engineering and Chemical Processes at High Temperatures in Patras (one of the seven of the Technology and Research Foundation based in Iraklion, Crete) were Dasios and A. Payiatakis, V. Costopoulos, D. Polyzos, G. Constantinidis, C. Paraskevas, A. Haralambopoulos and others; from the Athens University medical school, led by Professor Haralambos Roussos, director of Evangelismos Hospital’s intensive care unit, and others. From Ioannina University were the the research team of the university’s rector C. Massalas, and from the National Technical University, the research team led by K. Kyriaki. Also participating was the Micrel company, which manufactured the industrial prototypes.