Nov 21, 2016
Jolley Hall, Room 309
"Bio-Inspired Multi-Spectral Imager for Near Infrared Fluorescence Image Guided Surgery"
Advisor: Roger Chamberlain
Image-guided surgery (IGS) can enhance cancer treatment by decreasing and ideally eliminating positive tumour margins and iatrogenic damage to healthy tissue. However, the clinical need for imaging instruments that provide real-time feedback in the operating room is unmet, largely due to the use of imaging systems that are based on contemporary technological advances in the semiconductor and optical fields, which have led to bulky and costly designs with suboptimal acuity. As a result, during current intraoperative procedures, an overwhelming majority of physicians still rely on their unaided eye and palpation as the primary sensing modalities to distinguish cancerous from healthy tissue.
To address these shortcomings, I propose to develop a single-chip multispectral imaging sensor for IGS by shifting the design paradigm away from conventional advancements in the semiconductor and optical technology fields and instead adapting the 400-million-year-old elegant design of stomatopods’ (i.e. mantis shrimp) compound eye – a biological system optimized to detect multispectral information with high acuity in a condensed structure. The proposed artificial compound eye will mimic the mantis shrimp counterpart by monolithically integrating pixelated spectral interference filters with vertically stacked silicon-based photodetectors. Compared with current state-of-the-art multispectral imaging systems used in IGS, which couple several imaging sensors with complex optical systems and thus are inherently costly, bulky, interfere with the surgical flow, and lack accuracy in the captured spectral information, the proposed bio-inspired image sensor will have the prominent advantage of capturing both color and two near-infrared fluorescence channels. Hence, allowing simultaneous identification of anatomical features, tumours, blood vessels, and nerves via targeted molecular markers, using a single-chip imaging sensor that is compact, lightweight, conformal, and with high acuity.
The proposed bio-inspired sensor will enable various minimally invasive intraoperative image-guided surgeries such as endoscopic assessment of tumour margins and blood perfusion in tissue and vessels among others. The low cost of the imaging system will provide resource-limited hospitals with much needed technology to enable value-based health care.