Diffuse Optical Tomography (DOT) is a relatively new optical imaging modality that uses visible and near infrared radiation for the detection and diagnosis of surface and near-surface anomalies. Measuring and modeling of the attenuation and scattering of light in tissue allows for a determination of tissue density and chromophore concentration. These data may be used, for example, to detect and differentiate between tumors and cysts. Existing DOT systems, however, are subject to large noise contributions and errors, such as variations between source and detector coupling coefficients, boundary reflection mismatches, and inaccurate geometric modeling. Further, the data acquisition rates of existing DOT systems are too slow (3 image planes per second) for the detection of dynamic phenomena.
Dartmouth investigators have developed systems and methods for highly accurate, video-rate optical imaging with acquisition times on the order of 10 to 50 ms. This type of rapid data acquisition allows for imaging of dynamic phenomena. For example, the systems and methods developed at Dartmouth may be used for the detection and study of aneurisms, brain activity, erectile dysfunction, heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, epidural and subdural hematomas, active intracranial bleeding, uptake and retention of pharmaceuticals, and other phenomena that vary with heartbeat and/or respiration.
In addition to the rapid acquisition capabilities of the new systems, a number of system improvements and algorithms have been developed for reducing noise and eliminating errors that afflict conventional optical imaging systems. For example, one system uses a pulsed-output, tunable laser, such as a titanium sapphire laser, to improve signal contrast as well as spatial and spectral resolution. The improved accuracy of the Dartmouth systems allows for the positive detection of smaller, deeper and/or more diffuse anomalies.
This technology is claimed in United States Patent No. 7,962,198 and the published United States Patent Application No. 12/088,845. We are seeking an industrial partner for the continued development and commercialization of this technology. (Ref: J283, J372)
Last Updated: 7/24/12