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New high-tech glasses detect cancer cells during surgery
Date:3/10/2014

A team of scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (WUSTL) and the University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson led by Samuel Achilefu have created a pair of high-tech glasses that help surgeons visualize cancer cells during surgeries, which glow blue when viewed through the glasses.

Achilefu published the 2013 article he coauthored as part of a special section in the SPIE Journal of Biomedical Optics on fluorescence molecular imaging that details the development of the high-tech glasses (available via open access in the SPIE Digital Library).

Achilefu, a professor of radiology and of biomedical engineering at WUSTL and co-leader of the Oncologic Imaging Program at Siteman Cancer Center, and his team developed the technology that incorporates custom video, a head-mounted display, and a targeted molecular agent injected into a patient that attaches to cancer cells, making them glow.

Viktor Gruev, assistant professor of engineering at WUSTL, and Rongguang Liang, professor of optical engineering at UA, assisted with development of the glasses. WUSTL graduate students Suman Mondal, Shengkui Gao, and Yang Liu and postdoctoral fellow Nan Zhu also played key roles.

Achilefu, along with Ramesh Raghavachari of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has chaired the conference at SPIE Photonics West on Reporters, Markers, Dyes, Nanoparticles, and Molecular Probes for Biomedical Applications since its introduction in 2009.

The wearable technology was used during surgery for the first time on 10 February.

"This technology has great potential improve patient outcome and enhance decision making for health-care professionals," Achilefu said. "Our goal is to make sure no cancer is left behind."

Cancer cells are difficult to see, even under high-powered magnification. The high-tech glasses are designed to make it easier for surgeons to distinguish cancer cells from healthy cells, helping to
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Contact: Amy Nelson
amy@spie.org
360-685-5478
SPIE--International Society for Optics and Photonics
Source:Eurekalert

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