Optical imaging method could improve tumor mapping, brain activity study

April 16, 2020
The optical imaging 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.

A team of researchers at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) has 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.

“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,” says Brian Bentz, a Purdue University alumnus, who worked on the technology with Kevin Webb, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University. “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.” 

The 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 says the technology overcomes one of the major challenges with fluorescence imagingthe 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 says. 

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

They are looking for partners to continue testing and developing their technology. For more information on licensing and other opportunities, contact D.H.R. Sarma at [email protected].

Full details of the work appear in the journal IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging

Source: Purdue University press release – April 9, 2020

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