The Optical Medical Imaging program was established to advance the application of optical imaging in surgical, clinical, and medical practices. Our goal is develop standards and measurement quality assurance, to characterize and calibrate optical medical imaging technology, and improve surgical and clinical lighting.
Optical medical imaging promises to enhance and complement conventional medical imaging modalities that include MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT (Computed Tomography), and PET-CT (Positron Emission Tomography – Computed Tomography), which are too expensive for routine applications and too complex for surgical applications. Unlike radiological and x-ray imaging, optical imaging does not expose patients to harmful ionizing radiation and can provide continuous, direct observation throughout protracted surgical procedures, and long-term patient monitoring for assessing treatment efficacy and progress.
This research program targets hyperspectral optical medical imaging because its high spatial and spectral resolution offers the greatest opportunity to detect and quantify tissue status in the early stages of disease progression. Hyperspectral imaging monitors reflected or emitted infrared and optical radiation from tissue much like a camera used in photography, except that it expands the spectral fidelity from the three-component RGB color palette to hundreds of wavelengths. It is applicable to external clinical examinations, including ophthalmologic exams as well as internal (open, endoscopic, and laparoscopic) procedures and surgeries.