Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Image-guided surgery (IGS) can enhance cancer treatment by decreasing, and ideally eliminating, positive tumor margins and iatrogenic damage to healthy tissue. Current state-of-the-art near-infrared fluorescence imaging systems are bulky, costly, lack sensitivity under surgical illumination, and lack co-registration accuracy between multimodal images. As a result, an overwhelming majority of physicians still rely on their unaided eyes and palpation as the primary sensing modalities to distinguish cancerous from healthy tissue. In my thesis, I have addressed these challenges in IGC by mimicking the visual systems of several animals to construct low power, compact and highly sensitive multi-spectral and color-polarization sensors. I have realized single-chip multi-spectral imagers with 1000-fold higher sensitivity and 7-fold better spatial co-registration accuracy compared to clinical imaging systems in current use by monolithically integrating spectral tapetal and polarization filters with an array of vertically stacked photodetectors. These imaging sensors yield the unique capabilities of imaging simultaneously color, polarization, and multiple fluorophores for near-infrared fluorescence imaging. Preclinical and clinical data demonstrate seamless integration of this technologies in the surgical work flow while providing surgeons with real-time information on the location of cancerous tissue and sentinel lymph nodes, respectively. Due to its low cost, the bio-inspired sensors will provide resource-limited hospitals with much-needed technology to enable more accurate value-based health care.
Viktor Gruev, Shantanu Chakrabartty, Tao Ju, Barani Raman,