Hand-held Optical Probe Based Imaging System with 3D Tracking Facilities – IP 0612

Breast cancer affects one in every seven women and is thesecond largest cause of death in women in the United States. Early diagnosis ofthe disease is critically important in reducing breast cancer mortality rates.Optical imaging is an emerging tool that offers non-invasive, non-ionizing,inexpensive method for providing optical contrast between disease and normaltissues. Specifically, the minimal absorption of the near-infrared opticalsignals makes them attractive towards deep tissue imaging applications. The Optical Imaging Laboratory of the Department ofBiomedical Engineering at Florida International University is currentlydeveloping a novel hand-held based optical imager with capabilities ofautomated co-registration on any tissue volume and curvature for real timesurface imaging. Furthermore, the implementation of user-friendlycoregistration software provides a method for performing 3D tomography studiesusing the hand-held device. The unique features of the handheld probe designare its ability to simultaneously illuminate the tissue phantom at multiplepoint locations, flex the probe into any tissue shape, image a wide range oftissue volumes, and automatically locate and track the 3D location of the probeon any given tissue with precision. Development of this hand-held based optical imaging systemwill expedite in translating the technology from individual efforts of variousresearch groups to a more standardized tool towards initial diagnostic studiesin breast cancer. The hand-held probe can be used for optical imaging studiesthat both use and do not use external molecular markers. Additionally, theprobe can easily adapt to other imaging applications, with least changes to thedesign. Many versions of handheld optical probes have been developed to date,but the present invention is the first hand-held optical imaging system thatnot only performs 3D real-time imaging of curved tissue geometries, but canalso provide 3D depth information by implementing 3D tomographic analysis tothe obtained time-dependent reflectance and trans-illumination measurements.The imaging tool can be the first of its kind to be available in the clinicalradiology setting to be used as a diagnostic tool towards looking below theskin, for applications not limited to cancer diagnosis, but any kind of bodyimaging, and at various stages of disease or abnormalities. Shantanu Balkundi sbalkund@fiu.edu 305-348-8061

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