What is 3D and Thermal Imaging (3D-TI)?

BioVolume 3D-TI

The BioVolume platform utilises a proprietary combination of 3D and thermal imaging (3D-TI). 3D-TI is a non-invasive technique that captures thermal (infra-red) and RGB images of subcutaneous tumours and uses computing power to build a 3D model. This model can then be measured algorithmically, producing unbiased and accurate dimensions of the tumour.


3D-TI is used to measure subcutaneous tumours in preclinical studies. Tumour volume is used to track the effect of therapies on tumour growth to determine whether they could be used to successfully treat cancer. BioVolume is the world’s first and only 3D-TI system, used by pharmaceutical companies and research institutes to replace callipers. The 3D reconstruction is used to calculate tumour dimensions, and the thermal camera enables precise automatic detection of the tumour boundary, as subcutaneous tumours are colder than surrounding tissue.

Thermal, RGB, 3D and measurement outputs in the BioVolume software


Overview of the 3D-TI process

The subject rodent is picked up and scruffed as normal and the tumour (on the flank, shoulder, or mammary pad) is presented to the BioVolume aperture. During image acquisition (~0.5s) 4 binocular RBG images, one thermal (IR) image, and 3 laser pattern projector RGB images are captured. The 3D model is constructed from the RGB images using a binocular stereo-process technique. The thermal and RGB images are then mapped onto the 3D model using a conventional affine transformation. Tumour boundary detection is performed on the thermal image using machine learning. A plane is fit to reconstruct the curve of the back of the mouse using an optimisation algorithm, and the tumour length, width, and height are measured algorithmically.

BioVolume calculates tumour volume using the following equations:


Compared to callipers:


  • More accurate measurements

  • Reduced user bias- users can swap during studies

  • Images and 3D model provide more information about tumour condition

  • Shorter animal handling time

  • Automatic measurement

Compared to MRI, CT, ultrasound, fluorescence imaging:

  • Much faster imaging time, allowing high throughput

  • No anaesthesia or reagents needed

  • Faster, less technical user training needed