OHSU Receives Donation of Equipment From Oregon3D

04/04/05    Portland, Ore.

OHSU Receives State-Of-The-Art Visualization Equipment From Oregon3D to Enhance Biomedical Research, Education

Oregon Health & Science University recently received a generous donation of scientific visualization equipment from Oregon3D that will greatly enhance its biomedical research and training programs. The equipment became available as a result of Oregon3D's new focus on animation and modeling training provided by 3DV Corporation.

The gift to OHSU, worth $652,000, includes three major electronics systems: a state-of-the-art stereoscopic display wall that projects 3-D images more than 6 feet high and 12 feet wide, an Intersense wireless motion tracking system, and an eight-processor SGI Onyx 3000 supercomputer and software. The display will be housed in the visualization room located on the sixth floor of OHSU's School of Dentistry (www.ohsu.edu/sod). The supercomputer with stereo-capable monitors will go to the High-Performance Computing (HPC) Facility of the Advanced Research Computing Core (ARCC) located in the Bronson Creek Building on OHSU's West Campus in Hillsboro, Ore.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for OHSU. It creates new possibilities for training and research utilizing advanced technologies," said Ronald L. Sakaguchi, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., professor and associate dean for technology and innovation in the OHSU School of Dentistry. "We are very grateful to Oregon3D for making this generous gift to OHSU.

"The computer and visualization system from Oregon 3D is very impressive and quite unique in the Portland area," said Sakaguchi. "We expect it will greatly enhance the education and research efforts of our physicians, dentists, scientists and engineers."

The large graphics display produces 3-D images with pixel resolution beyond any of the high-definition standards, noted Sakaguchi. Through the use of infrared-controlled LCD glasses and two blended DLP stereoscopic projectors, the display shows a slightly different view of an object for the left and right eye. Four high-resolution images are merged into a single 3-D image that appears to float in space. Such technology will permit OHSU scientists to view vast amounts of data in an immersive 3-D environment. This will provide not only a powerful new research tool but also a competitive edge in biomedical research.

Sakaguchi said the large graphics display technology will be used for structural analysis of biomedical tissues, materials and devices; simulation of biomedical processes and procedures; architectural planning; chemical and protein modeling; exploration of genomics and proteomics data; and visualizing large databases from sensor arrays and advanced imaging data as well as other research and education applications.

"For our research in the School of Dentistry, where we are evaluating and simulating the mechanical performance of biomedical devices and materials, the visualization system will enable us to 'see' and explore surfaces and volumes at greater than high-definition resolution at a scale almost 10 times larger than desktop flat panel displays. In addition, the motion tracking system will also permit us to virtually 'touch' objects that are being visualized and manipulate them in real-time," said Sakaguchi.

The gift of the eight-processor SGI supercomputer adds to the already impressive high-performance computing (HPC) resources at the Bronson Creek HPC center managed by the HPC engineering team of Eric Taylor, Toby Nelson and Marion Hakanson. The SGI supercomputer brings large-scale visualization capability to the HPC center through the SGI's superior graphics and memory capability.

Both the large-scale display in the School of Dentistry's visualization room and the SGI supercomputer in the HPC facility are institution-wide resources and available to any OHSU researcher or clinician. "We also envision building collaborations with regional universities and businesses through these tools," said Sakaguchi.

"With OHSU being the leading biomedical university and research center in Oregon and our understanding of their needs through a prior business connection with them, we thought it would be the best place for the visualization equipment to go," said Kurt Macey, 3DV corporation president. "The high-end display is perfect for biomedical applications because it can show with great clarity and detail a molecule, bone or organ. The large high-resolution stereoscopic display makes the irregular shape of 3-D biomedical models much easier to see and comprehend."

Oregon3D was founded with the mission to empower people to learn, access and benefit from visualization technologies. Oregon3D opened its doors to the public in 2002 and was acquired by 3DV in December 2004. "Oregon3D founder's vision of a world in which visualization is routinely used to enlighten, enrich and enhance life is closer to reality today," said Macey.

Oregon3D's new focus on training and consulting covers basic to advanced 3-D modeling and animation. Most classes are short, lasting one to five days, and are offered during weekdays, weekends and evenings. They also offer custom classes, classroom rentals and consulting. For more information, go to www.oregon3d.com.

3DV sells and services advanced tools for 3-D and digital video. Serving the community since 1992, they specialize in Discreet 3DS Max, Alias Maya and Alias Studio as well as editing and compositing tools. For more information, go to www.3dv.com or call 503 644-6000 or 800 206-7886.

Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only health and research university. It's fundamental purpose it to improve the well-being of Oregonians. As part of its multifaceted public mission, OHSU strives for excellence in scholarship, research, clinical practice and community service. For more information, go to www.ohsu.edu.