Tremendous advances have been made in technological development of whole body molecular imaging, including PET, SPECT, MRI, bioluminescence, and ultrasound. However, a great unmet need still exists for high resolution imaging of biological processes that occur in the epithelium, the thin layer of tissue where many important cancers originate. Confocal endomicroscopes designed with a fiber bundle are used in the clinic, but they can only create images in the horizontal plane. Imaging in the plane perpendicular to the tissue surface is also important because epithelial cells differentiate in the vertical direction. Subtle changes in normal tissue differentiation patterns can reveal the early expression of cancer biomarkers.
In this work, we present a side-viewing confocal endomicroscope that can collect images in either horizontal or oblique plane using an integrated monolithic electrostatic 3D MEMS scanner. The endomicroscope can perform sub-cellular resolution imaging in both the horizontal plane and the oblique plane with FOVs of 500 x 700 µm2 and 500 x 200 µm2. A side-viewing probe will allow optimal contact between the imaging window and the luminal wall, which makes it easy to navigate in the hollow organ. The endomicroscope is packaged into a stainless steel tube with outer diameter of 4.2 mm, which can be used for both small animal and human GI tract imaging. We demonstrate in vivo imaging of colonic dysplasia in mice, showing the endomicroscope can potentially be used for early detection and staging of colon cancer.
Xiyu Duan, Haijun Li, Gaoming Li, Xue Li, Kenn R. Oldham, and Thomas D. Wang, "MEMS-based side-view endomicroscope for in vivo small animal imaging (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10040, Endoscopic Microscopy XII, 100400Y (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 30, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252630.5369883834001.
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