Successful treatment of cancer is highly dependent on the stage at which it is diagnosed. Early diagnosis, when the disease is still localized at its origin, results in very high cure rates - even for cancers that typically have poor prognosis. Biopsies are often used for diagnosis of disease. However, because biopsies are destructive, only a limited number can be taken. This leads to reduced sensitivity for detection due to sampling error. A real-time fluorescence confocal microlaparoscope has been developed that provides instant in vivo cellular images, comparable to those provided by histology, through a nondestructive procedure. The device includes an integrated contrast agent delivery mechanism and a computerized depth scan system. The instrument uses a fiber bundle to relay the image plane of a slit-scan confocal microlaparoscope into tissue. It has a 3-μm lateral resolution and a 25-μm axial resolution. Initial in vivo clinical testing using the device to image human ovaries has been done in 21 patients. Results indicate that the device can successfully image organs in vivo without complications. Results with excised tissue demonstrate that the instrument can resolve sufficient cellular detail to visualize the cellular changes associated with the onset of cancer.
- confocal optics
- medical imaging
- real-time imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering