Purdue University researchers have 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.

Published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, the Purdue study used technology to contrast the absorption of light and florescent agents 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 physicians detect diseases such as Parkinson disease, according to the press release.

"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 developed 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."

Bentz said the Purdue technology overcomes 1 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 in the press release.

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

Reference
  1. Optical imaging technology may help surgeons better treat cancer, brain diseases [news release]. Purdue University. Published April 9, 2020. https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2020/Q2/optical-imaging-technology-may-help-surgeons-better-treat-cancer,-brain-diseases.html. Accessed April 13, 2020.