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URMC / Labs / Giacomelli Lab / Projects / Multiphoton Surgical Imaging


Multiphoton Surgical Imaging

Breast Tissue

Rapid imaging of fresh human breast tissue.

Multiphoton imaging has had a revolutionary impact on life sciences because of its ability to rapidly image living tissue at cellular resolution, but has not been accepted in clinical medicine, which continues to use conventional light microscopy techniques developed in the 19th century that are slow and cumbersome.    However, recent advances in cost-effective femtosecond lasers, high-speed silicon detectors, and advanced graphics processing have made the application of multiphoton imaging to cancer surgery attractive.

Recent studies have shown that multiphoton instruments can be miniaturized and applied to image entire surgical specimens dramatically faster than existing methods based on light microscopy. Combined with recent advances in compact femtosecond lasers, it is now possible to build compact, low cost instruments capable of performing conventional histological imaging of living tissue in the clinic in minutes or seconds, rather than days.

However, further engineering and clinical studies are required to produce practical, robust clinical instruments that can be made available to pathologists and surgeons.

2 photon microscope

Surgical two photon microscope imaging surgically excised tissue.

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