Dartmouth has developed a system capable of measuring tissue optical properties in vivo. The fluorescence lifetime spectrometer (FLS) is a clinically compatible, portable, fiber based instrument capable of simultaneously measuring native tissue fluorescence and the corresponding emission lifetime in less than one second. This non-invasive optical measurement is compatible with existing flexible and rigid clinical endoscopes.
The FLS design is highly flexible, allowing for user selection of excitation wavelength, the advantage of capturing the entire fluorescence spectrum, and varied wavelength fluorescence lifetime measurements. The FLS detectors are highly sensitive and are calibrated to known fluorescence standards, known discrete Hg(Ar) emission bands and broadband, NIST calibrated, radiance standards for temporal accuracy, wavelength calibration, and quantitative emission measurements respectively. The combination of the flexibility, ease of use and accuracy of the FLS makes this instrument truly unique for the differentiation of tissue types.
The FLS has been tested on many biological and biomedical specimens, including in vitro human cells and ex vivo lung tissue measured shortly after surgical resection. In vivo experiments include real-time measurements on mouse muscle, human skin, and bronchial epithelium. The FLS has proven to be successful in its measurement capabilities given these varying biological situations. Such measurements suggest that the clinical applications of the FLS are broad and are not limited by instrumentation. Further, the FLS has the capability to be integrated into multiple existing medical procedures, including invasive and minimally invasive surgery, endoscopic and laparoscopic procedures, colposcopy, and oral examination. The technology required to make the measurements can be mass-produced at a modest cost and technicians without extensive special training can carry out the operation of the apparatus.
The apparatus, methodology, and non-invasive approach are claimed in the published United States Patent Application No. 10/469,021. We are seeking an industrial partner who can participate in the refinement of this approach into a device suitable for routine clinical use and who is interested in commercialization of this technology. (Ref: J157)
Last Updated: 7/24/12