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Medical imaging collaboration produces prize-winning paper

With 2010 IMS support, Dr. Maritoni Litorja, a chemist in PL’s Optical Technology Division, is collaborating with scientists and clinicians from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the University of Texas at Arlington, and Texas Instruments Corporation (TI), to develop hyperspectral (optical) imaging for medical applications. Hyperspectral imaging utilizes the information available in many narrow spectral bands, rather than just three broad spectral bands characteristic of human color vision. The Division is pioneering the use of the TI digital light projection (DLP) chip, which is commonly used in video projectors, to serve as an electronically tunable spectral filter.

Early work of this collaboration received special recognition in the March 24 issue of the Journal of Endourology. (Endourology is the branch of urologic surgery concerned with endoscopic (minimally invasive) techniques and technologies for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of urologic diseases.) Their paper, “Characterization of Renal Ischemia Using DLP® Hyperspectral Imaging: A Pilot Study Comparing Artery-Only Occlusion Versus Artery and Vein Occlusion,” was awarded first prize in the Endourological Society’s 2009 Essay Competition for Clinical Science.

The winning paper describes a pilot study in which the researchers monitored the real-time tissue oxygenation of kidneys during vascular occlusion. The results provide a scientific basis for clinical observations that suggest that certain procedures for vascular occlusion are more successful than others. This effort will be expanding to include the development of standards, such as an absolute scale for oxygenation, to improve clinical measurement capabilities.

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