A new tool for medical professionals may help shed light on tumors. Purdue University researchers 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.
“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 worked on 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.”
The Purdue technology uses contrast in the absorption of light and fluorescent agents that are 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 doctors detect diseases such as Parkinson’s.
Bentz said the Purdue technology overcomes one of the major challenges with fluorescence imaging –light becoming highly scattered and limiting the information a surgeon receives.