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Jedes von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird mit einer Webdarstellung zugänglich gemacht, die über die Kerndaten des Projektes informiert. Mit dieser öffentlichen Darstellung publiziert die Stiftung die erzielten Förderresultate und leistet einen Beitrag zur Kommunikation von Wissenschaft in die Gesellschaft.


IMAI – 3D Cancer Diagnosis


Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.


  • Projekt-Nr: GRS-093/23 
  • Förderbeitrag: CHF 150'000 
  • Bewilligung: 20.02.2024 
  • Dauer: 04.2024 - 03.2025 
  • Handlungsfeld:  InnoBooster, seit 2018



The IMAI project marks a significant leap forward in cancer diagnostics, introducing an automated 3D histology platform that integrates robotics, electrical engineering and advanced imaging. The name cleverly combines 'IM' for imaging, 'AI' for artificial intelligence and coincides with the Japanese word ' ' (imai), meaning 'now', emphasizing its innovative approach. This technology aims to overcome the limitations of traditional 2D histology by enabling detailed, three-dimensional examinations of tissues, thus improving diagnostic accuracy and enabling early cancer diagnosis.
Using artificial intelligence and robotics, IMAI not only promises to improve the accuracy of cancer diagnoses, but also to accelerate the diagnostic process, potentially leading to better patient outcomes through timely and targeted treatments. In addition, its advanced 3D imaging capabilities offer new insights into disease mechanisms, contributing to medical research and the development of new therapies.
Scheduled to be integrated into the clinical setting after rigorous validation phases, IMAI represents a transformative advancement in medical diagnostics, aiming to improve both patient care and research outcomes through its cutting-edge technology.


At the project's inception, steps include finalizing the automated 3D histology prototype for research, implementing a regulatory-compliant QMS, and developing image analysis software for clinical use. Interim goals involve prototype validation, customer acquisition, and pilot study completion. This project fills the gap in accurate cancer diagnostics, with ongoing implementation activities such as software development and regulatory preparations. A spin-off/start-up has been initiated, with industry partnerships aimed at enhancing product reach and application. Specifically, collaborations with Swiss university hospitals, a leading microscopy company, and data science and imaging groups/companies are pivotal in advancing our prototype development and clinical design. The project is set to continue with advancements in clinical design, backed by significant follow-up funding to ensure sustainable development and market penetration, leveraging these strategic partnerships to navigate the complexities of healthcare innovation.


Am Projekt beteiligte Personen

Dr. Francesca Catto, co-project leader, CEO, IMAI MedTech
Dr. Robert Axelrod, co-project leader, COO, MedTech; ETH Zurich
Sascha Brun, CTO, IMAI MedTech
Martina Cerisoli, R&D, IMAI MedTech
Beda Rutishauser, Software Development and IT, IMAI MedTech

Advisory Board:
Prof. Dr. Alexander Mathys, ETH Zurich
Prof. Dr. Mirko Meboldt, Dr. Stephan Fox, Dr. med. Adriano Aguzzi, Dr. med. Daniel Kirschenbaum

Letzte Aktualisierung dieser Projektdarstellung  06.06.2024