A newly designed endoscope, capable of providing sub-second polarized spectral images of tissue in vivo (in the body), allows physicians and surgeons to non-invasively survey and sample an entire area without actually removing tissue, and may offer hope as a new tool for detecting cancer early. Researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh describe the instrument’s capabilities and clinical applications in the July 2004 issue of Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging.
The new device, named the Hyperspectral Imaging Endoscope (HSIE), is a standard medical endoscope enhanced with a customized imaging fiber. Working together with a camera, a laptop computer and a tunable light source covering the visible and near-infrared range, the HSIE system is capable of acquiring rapid spectral images of tissues, allowing physicians to non-invasively survey and sample an entire area of tissue in vivo (within the body). Compared to traditional biopsy where a small amount of tissue is removed and then examined in a laboratory, the HSIE system provides a non-contact method of gaining as much information as possible about an area without removing any tissue.
The system is relatively simple and based on the intrinsic properties of tissue and light, explains Daniel Farkas, Ph.D., Director of the Minimally Invasive Surgical Technologies Institute at Cedars-Sinai, and one of the study authors. “When light impacts tissue, it gives back a certain scattering pattern with spectral oscillations depending on the size of the scattering object. This pattern gives us a relatively quantitative idea whether or not a tissue area contains cancerous cells since the nuclei of cells in pre-cancerous and cancerous tissues are enlarged. The theory and spectroscopy have been beautifully worked out by our colleagues in Boston and Los Alamos, and we have now moved this type of investigation into the endoscopic imaging domain.”
Sandra Van | Cedars-Sinai Media
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