Real-time molecular imaging of near-surface tissue using Raman spectroscopy

in: Light-Science & Applications (2022)
Yang, Wei; Knorr, Florian; Latka, Ines; Vogt, Matthias; Hofmann, Gunter O.; Popp, Jürgen; Schie, Iwan W.
The steady progress in medical diagnosis and treatment of diseases largely hinges on the steady development and improvement of modern imaging modalities. Raman spectroscopy has attracted increasing attention for clinical applications as it is label-free, non-invasive, and delivers molecular fingerprinting information of a sample. In combination with fiber optic probes, it also allows easy access to different body parts of a patient. However, image acquisition with fiber optic probes is currently not possible. Here, we introduce a fiber optic probe-based Raman imaging system for the real-time molecular virtual reality data visualization of chemical boundaries on a computer screen and the physical world. The approach is developed around a computer vision-based positional tracking system in conjunction with photometric stereo and augmented and mixed chemical reality, enabling molecular imaging and direct visualization of molecular boundaries of three-dimensional surfaces. The proposed approach achieves a spatial resolution of 0.5mm in the transverse plane and a topology resolution of 0.6 mm, with a spectral sampling frequency of 10 Hz, and can be used to image large tissue areas in a few minutes, making it highly suitable for clinical tissueboundary demarcation. A variety of applications on biological samples, i.e., distribution of pharmaceutical compounds, brain-tumor phantom, and various types of sarcoma have been characterized, showing that the system enables rapid and intuitive assessment of molecular boundaries.

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