OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY FOR NEUROSURGEY AND CANCER RESEARCH
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Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) provides non-labeling, real-time and high resolution images, which has the potential to transform the paradigm of surgical guidance and preclinical animal studies. The design and development of OCT devices for neurosurgery guidance and novel imaging algorithms for monitoring anti-cancer therapy have been pursued in this work. A forward-imaging needle-type OCT probe was developed which can fit into minimally invasive tools (I.D. ~ 1mm), detect the at-risk blood vessels, and identify tissue micro-landmarks. This promising guidance tool improves the safety and the accuracy of needle-based procedures, which are currently performed without imaging feedback. Despite the great imaging capability, OCT is limited by the shallow imaging depth (1-2 mm). In order to address this issue, the first MRI compatible OCT system has been developed. The multi-scale and multi-contrast MRI/OCT imaging combination significantly improves the accuracy of intra-operative MRI by two orders (from 1mm to 0.01 mm). In contrast to imaging systems, a thin (0.125 mm), low-cost (1/10 cost of OCT system) and simple fiber sensor technology called coherence gated Doppler (CGD) was developed which can be integrated with many surgical tools and aid in the avoidance of intracranial hemorrhage. Furthermore, intra-vital OCT is a powerful tool to study the mechanism of anti-cancer therapy. Photo-immunotherapy (PIT) is a low-side-effect cancer therapy based on an armed antibody conjugate that induces highly selective cancer cell necrosis after exposure to near infrared light both in vitro and in vivo. With novel algorithms that remove the bulk motion and track the vessel lumen automatically, OCT reveals dramatic hemodynamic changes during PIT and helps to elucidate the mechanisms behind the PIT treatment. The transformative guidance tools and the novel image processing algorithms pave a new avenue to better clinical outcomes and preclinical animal studies.