Discovering cancer cells and cancerous tissues as soon as medically possibly bodes best for the patient to receive a diagnosis and treatment that brings with it the best possible outcome. Using “ultrafast nonlinear microscopy” surgeons can identify and remove the tumor margins in real time, preventing the need for the patient to have to undergo further procedures.
The nonlinear microscope uses custom optical medical lenses that yield high resolution images, which are delivered in real time to the surgeons allowing them to remove as many cancerous cells as possible. The technology also offers the surgical team a higher field of vision during the procedure. The magnification and accuracy of this tool offered the physicians a close to 95% accuracy rate in identifying and removing tumors.
Another technology aiding physicians in the detection and removal of cancer cells is photoacoustic tomography (PAM). This is a sound and light based imaging technology that not only provides a three dimension image, but also operates along the optical wavelength allowing for the detection of tissue molecules. PAM, used in the detection, screening and monitoring of cancer cells, has proven useful in detecting single tumor and red blood cells.
To allow the PAM technology to work at a higher level of accuracy, they are fitted with microelectromechanical systems, or MEMs, scanning mirrors. These mirrors are used extensively in optical imaging but cannot perform when immersed in liquid. New water-immersible MEMs are being created that will be usable in liquid and in conjunction with the photoacoustic tomography. The use of the two technologies together will speed up the imaging time and provide faster results to the surgeons during procedures.
A cancer diagnosis is one of most often mentioned use for PAM because of its ability to distinguish between benign and malignant tissues.
UKA Optics manufactures standard and custom lens assemblies for medical imaging and diagnostic cameras.