Contrast agents enhance optical coherence tomography to detect tumors

November 5, 2001 | Source: KurzweilAI

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) enhanced by contrast agents, a new approach to improving the detection and removal of tumors, has been developed by scientists at the University of Illinois.

OCT allows for high-resolution imaging of tissue by focusing a beam of near-infrared light into tissue and measuring the intensity and position of the resulting reflections.

To make OCT work better, UI researchers have developed injectable contrast agents that will help identify tumors early in their growth.

Stephen Boppart, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and bioengineering, heads a team that has developed the contrast agents. These use tiny spheres –- filled with air or some other light-scattering media –- that create a stronger signal than the surrounding tissue.

The higher contrast might allow researchers to noninvasively image individual cells and detect cellular changes indicative of cancer.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Press release