In this work we report the development of an optical fibre probe which could find use as an aid for margin detection during surgery. A fluorophore doped polymer coating is deposited on the tip of an optical fibre, which can then be used to record the pH by monitoring the emission spectra from the embedded indicator. The pH values of unknown tissue are measured and compared to healthy tissue, allowing for discrimination between healthy and cancerous tissue.
The probe developed here shows strong potential for use during surgery, as the probe design can be readily adapted to a low-cost portable configuration which could find use in the operating theatre. Use of this probe in surgery either on excised or in-vivo tissue has the potential to improve success rates for complete removal of cancers.