Automated Damage Scoring of Zebrafish Neuromast Images

Technology #ua18-015

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Jeffrey Rodriguez
Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Rohit Philip
graduate Research Assistant, ECE
Managed By
Robert Sleeper
Licensing Manager (520) 626-4604

Title: Automated Damage Scoring of Zebrafish Neuromast Images


Invention: This invention is an improved method for assessing ototoxicity of pharmaceutical compounds using an automated algorithm.


Background: Ototoxicity refers to chemical-related damage to the ear. As a side effect of a drug, the effects of ototoxicity can either be temporary and reversible or irreversible and permanent. Current methods of assessing pharmaceutical compounds for ototoxicity involves exposing a zebrafish to certain dosages while quantifying the damage the fish receives to its neuromast. A large concern with this is how error-prone and inconsistent quantifying the damage can be. The technology presented here surpasses the current methods with the implementation of an algorithm that is capable of quantifying damage based on neuromast images and training data, eliminating operator errors.



  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • FDA



  • Non-time-consuming
  • Very accurate compared to manual estimation
  • Consistent
  • Assays ototoxic, otoprotective and otoregenerative capabilities of pharmaceutical compounds


Licensing Manager:

Bob Sleeper

(520) 626-4604