Automated coregistered imaging using a hand-held probe-based optical imager
Near-infrared optical imaging holds a promise as a noninvasive technology toward cancer diagnostics and other tissue imaging applications. In recent years, hand-held based imagers are of great interest toward the clinical translation of the technology. However hand-held imagers developed to date are typically designed to obtain surface images and not tomography information due to lack of coregistration facilities. Herein, a recently developed hand-held probe-based optical imager in our Optical Imaging Laboratory has been implemented with novel coregistration facilities toward real-time and tomographic imaging of tissue phantoms. Continuous-wave fluorescence-enhanced optical imaging studies were performed using an intensified charge coupled device camera based imaging system in order to demonstrate the feasibility of automated coregistered imaging of flat phantom surfaces, using a flexible probe that can also contour to curvatures. Three-dimensional fluorescence tomographic reconstructions were also demonstrated using coregistered frequency-domain measurements obtained using the hand-held based optical imager. It was also observed from preliminary studies on cubical phantoms that multiple coregistered scans differentiated deeper targets (approximately 3 cm) from artifacts that were not feasible from a single coregistered scan, demonstrating the possibility of improved target depth detectability in the future.
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