Fluorescence Imaging at Thayer

A team from Thayer School of Engineering and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is among the first to harness fluorescence to prevent tissue damage during brain surgery.

Over a decade ago, a group of German doctors discovered that if a patient is given an oral dose of a 5-aminolevulinic acid solution before brain surgery, a chemical reaction will cause certain cells, including cancer cells, to appear fluorescent, allowing them to identify tumors for removal during surgery.

But it was Dartmouth engineering professor Keith Paulsen and his team, along with doctors from the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto, who took even more of the guesswork out of fluorescence-guided brain surgery by creating a fiber optic probe that when placed on early-stage, low-grade tumors detects fluorescence not visible to the naked eye.

For more, read the full article published by the Thayer School of Engineering on 2/4/2013.