As medical professionals continue to improve diagnostic methods and procedures, there has been an increase in development of noninvasive imaging techniques to examine all types of tissue and cells. Most recently, we learned of a team of researches at Lahey Hospital in Burlington, MA who are developing a non-invasive imaginng technique to be used in identifying cancerous cells, eventually allowing them to provide real time analysis and treatment recommendations.

The researchers combined multiphoton microscopy with automated image and statistical analysis algorithms to distinguish between healthy and diseased tissue. In this image, collected in a completely label free, noninvasive manner, collagen is colored green while ovarian metastatic cell clusters are presented in red. Image: Dimitra Pouli, Thomas Schnelldorfer, and Irene Georgakoudi, Tufts University and Lahey Hospital and Medical Center.

By using multi-photon microscopy with automated image analysis algorithms, they can distinguish between healthy and metastatic cancerous tissue without relying on invasive biopsies or the use of a contrast dye. This is especially important because the method relies on components of the cell tissue itself for contrast, as opposed to dyes which still remain a somewhat invasive process. One of the remaining steps in the project is to “enable real-time analysis of the acquired images directly at the operating room.” Part of this process would involve ensuring the hardware is accurate calibrated to some standard to ensure that imaging process yields consistent, repeatable results, especially in high pressure situations such as a surgical room.

Non-invasive imaging provides the opportunity for countless improvements and advances in diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. We have witnessed it firsthand through our work with some addition organizations developing this type of methodology. For more information on Lahey’s work, have a look at this article from Imaging and Microscopy.

 

Are you working on a similar project? We would love to hear about your process and application.

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