A multimodal optical imaging technology that will enable evaluation of the entire surgical margin in vivo and in real-time.



Currently most cancers, including breast cancers, are removed without any intra-operative margin control. Post-operative methods inspect 1-2% of the surgical margin and are prone to sampling errors. After completion of surgery, the excised tissue is sent for histopathological analysis. If the biopsy sample indicates the presence of cancerous cells, the patient needs to be brought back for repeat surgery to make sure that all of the cancerous tissue has been excised. This repeat procedure increases the cost of the cancer treatment and also involves psychological stress to the patient. All these steps are time consuming and require experienced technicians and pathologists.


UMass Lowell researcher, Dr. Anna Yaroslavsky, has developed a multimodal optical imaging technology that will enable evaluation of the entire surgical margin in vivo and in real-time. The technology allows simultaneous implementation of fluorescence and fluorescence polarization imaging. The contrast of the acquired images is enhanced using FDA-approved fluorescent agents, aqueous solutions of tetracycline and eosin Y.

Using lasers to excite TCN and EY, band pass filters combined with PMT systems are employed for simultaneous registration of high-resolution TCN and EY emission images. As the staining pattern of fluorescence images is similar to that of histology, and the values of fluorescence polarization are significantly higher in cancerous as compared to normal cells, this technology have a broad impact on the outcome of skin cancer treatments.


Saves time and cost of doing routine biopsy diagnosis
Patients are spared the trauma of doing repeat surgery to excise cancerous tissue
Real time acquisition of cancer boundaries enables precise excision of tumor tissue
Enables  intraoperative assessment of cancerous tissue
Enables simultaneous wide-field, high-resolution fluorescence and fluorescence polarization image acquisition from in vivo stained cancer tissue
Ability to distinguish cancer cells from normal cells by fluorescence polarization value.


Tumor surgical margin detection in    
 Breast cancer
 Brain tumors
 Skin cancer 

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