Researchers have discovered a new tool for medical professionals that may help shed more light on tumours in the body and how the brain operates.
Purdue University researchers created technology that uses optical imaging to aid surgeons map out tumours in the body and help them understand how certain diseases affect activity in the brain. The work is published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging.
"We are using light to extract new information from tissue to inform doctors and assist them in designing and carrying out surgeries to remove tumours," said Brian Bentz, a Purdue alumnus, who worked on the technology with Kevin Webb, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue.
"It is a localisation method where our technology helps the surgeon pinpoint precise information about the depth and location of tumours. Such information is not easily accessible with current technologies," Bentz added.
The Purdue technology uses contrast in the absorption of light and fluorescent agents that are introduced into the body to find tumours and/or blood vessels within the tissue. The same technology can be used to study neuron activation in the brain, which can help doctors detect diseases such as Parkinson's.
Bentz said that the Purdue technology overcomes one of the major challenges with fluorescence imaging -- the light becomes highly scattered and that limits the information a surgeon receives.
"Our technology aims to provide more detailed information about tumours for surgeons and neuron activity in the brain, both of which can improve outcomes for patients," Bentz added.
The innovators are working with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialisation to patent the technology.
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