Optical imaging technology may help surgeons better treat cancer and brain diseases

Summary: A new optical imaging tool allows surgeons to map out cancerous tumors and helps to provide a better understanding of how diseases affect brain activity.

Source: Purdue University

A new tool for medical professionals may help shed more light on tumors in the body and how the brain operates.

Purdue University researchers created technology that uses optical imaging to better help surgeons map out tumors in the body and help them understand how certain diseases affect activity in the brain. The work is published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging.

“We are using light to extract new information from tissue to inform doctors and assist them in designing and carrying out surgeries to remove tumors,” said Brian Bentz, a Purdue alumnus, who worked on the technology with Kevin Webb, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue. “It is a localization method where our technology helps the surgeon pinpoint precise information about the depth and location of tumors. Such information is not easily accessible with current technologies.”

A new tool for medical professionals may help shed more light on tumors in the body and how the brain operates. Purdue University researchers created technology that uses optical imaging to better help surgeons map out tumors in the body and help them understand how certain diseases affect activity in the brain. The image is credited to Purdue University/Brian Bentz.

The Purdue technology uses contrast in the absorption of light and fluorescent agents that are introduced into the body to find tumors and/or blood vessels within the tissue. The same technology can be used to study neuron activation in the brain, which can help doctors detect diseases such as Parkinson’s.

Bentz said the Purdue technology overcomes one of the major challenges with fluorescence imaging – the light becomes highly scattered and that limits the information that a surgeon receives.

“Our technology aims to provide more detailed information about tumors for surgeons and neuron activity in the brain, both of which can improve outcomes for patients,” Bentz said.

The innovators are working with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization to patent the technology.

About this neuroscience research article

Source:
Purdue University
Media Contacts:
Chris Adam – Purdue University
Image Source:
The image is credited to Purdue University/Brian Bentz.

Original Research: Closed access
“Localization of fluorescent targets in deep tissue with expanded beam illumination for studies of cancer and the brain”. Brian Z. Bentz ; Sakkarapalayam M. Mahalingam ; Daniel Ysselstein ; Paola C. Montenegro ; Jason R. Cannon ; Jean-Christophe Rochet ; Philip S. Low ; Kevin J. Webb.
IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging doi:Not Available.

Abstract

Localization of fluorescent targets in deep tissue with expanded beam illumination for studies of cancer and the brain

Imaging fluorescence through millimeters or centimeters of tissue has important in vivo applications, such as guiding surgery and studying the brain. Often, the important information is the location of one of more optical reporters, rather than the specifics of the local geometry, motivating the need for a localization method that provides this information. We present an optimization approach based on a diffusion model for the fast localization of fluorescent inhomogeneities in deep tissue with expanded beam illumination that simplifies the experiment and the reconstruction. We show that the position of a fluorescent inhomogeneity can be estimated while assuming homogeneous tissue parameters and without having to model the excitation profile, reducing the computational burden and improving the utility of the method. We perform two experiments as a demonstration. First, a tumor in a mouse is localized using a near infrared folate-targeted fluorescent agent (OTL38). This result shows that localization can quickly provide tumor depth information, which could reduce damage to healthy tissue during fluorescence-guided surgery. Second, another near infrared fluorescent agent (ATTO647N) is injected into the brain of a rat, and localized through the intact skull and surface tissue. This result will enable studies of protein aggregation and neuron signaling.

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