Monday, August 13, 2012

This invention detects and diagnoses cancers in epithelial tissues

This invention detects and diagnoses cancers in epithelial tissues by examining both the optical and the mechanical changes of the tissue in response to applied forces. The invention combines optical coherence tomography (OCT) and acoustic radiation force to simultaneously image and mechanically displace tissue (on a single probe) in a patient. Acoustic radiation force from a piezoelectric transdu
cer can be used to mechanically palpate tissues by pushing on them without physical contact.

OCT imaging can then be used to image the displacements of the tissues to infer mechanical properties which may be indicative of cancerous and precancerous conditions. By combining OCT imaging and acoustic radiation force into a single probe, surgeons will have the capability of interrogating both mechanical and optical changes in tissue which may lead to earlier and more efficient detection of cancerous and precancerous conditions in epithelial tissue. Additional potential applications include the investigation of the mechanical properties of intra-arterial plaques. The inventor is Dr. Jason Zara of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

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