Point-of-care feedback techniques are crucial for evaluating biomarkers and, subsequently, providing proper patient care. Furthermore, providing feedback during surgery could allow intervention during a narrow, yet valuable time window, possibly avoiding days of waiting for histology results and reoccurring surgery. Optical methods are gaining popularity in clinical research as a viable technique because they are low cost, non-invasive, portable, and can retrieve endogenous tissue constituent information. NIR light is particularly well suited due to its relatively deep penetration in tissue and its sensitivity to deoxyhemoglobin, oxyhemoglobin, water, and lipids, which allows for quantitative measurement of physiological properties.
Currently, nearly all optical sensing methods that use endogenous contrast are point-measurements and few are in real-time. Our lab has recently developed a novel technique for imaging endogenous tissue constituents that uses a single image capture. Moreover, with further developments in profilometry and data processing, we will be able to develop a technique capable of providing real-time images to help assess tissue viability during surgery.
It is the goal of this work to provide the foundation for a real-time feedback imaging system that provides tissue constituent quantification.