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Method and Apparatus for Depth-Resolved Fluorescence, Chromophore, and Oximetry Imaging for Lesion Identification During Surgery

Surgeons typically use frozen or stained tissue sections that are examined by a pathologist to determine when a tumor has been completely removed from a patient. However, these techniques are time consuming, remove excessive tissue, and may produce false negatives when unrepresentative samples are obtained.

More recently, surgeons have used microscopy of fluorescent compounds to differentiate between healthy tissue and abnormal tissue. One phase-3 human trial of surface fluorescent microscopy during surgical removal of tagged, malignant tumors demonstrated increased patient survival. The study compared conventional surgery with conventional surgery followed by removal of tumor portions fluorescing under blue light. While this technique advances the field of medicine, it is well known that portions of tumor may not be visible at the surface of the surgical wound, e.g., infiltrations, filaments, and spinoff tumors.

To overcome the limitations of the prior art, Dartmouth inventors have developed surgical microscopes that render 3-D tomographic images, which allow for detection of buried lesions and provided information on lesion depth and location. The tomographic images are useful for locating invasive filaments, spinoff tumors, and the like, but they may also guide surgeons in avoiding nerves and other anatomical features. Thus, the microscopes and associated methods are particularly suited for removing gliomas from the brain, and cancerous lesions from the spinal cord and prostate.

This technology is claimed in the published PCT Application No. PCT/US09/066839. We are seeking an industrial partner interested in its commercialization. (Ref: J472)

Last Updated: 7/24/12