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In this podcast, the principal investigator at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Stephen Boppart, details the development of a novel portable imaging system with research and clinical applications. He discusses:

  • How the laser they’ve developed is able to scan tissues and produce images without the use of potentially toxic dyes and contrast materials
  • In what capacity this new imaging technology can be used in vivo and in the operating room, and how this could allow for a real-time determination of how aggressive a tumor is
  • Why standard procedures in histology miss critical information about tissues and metabolic activity, and how this new technology can bypass the problem

Dr. Boppart expounds on the many research and clinical applications of this new technology, which include exploration of fundamental questions in biology and carcinogenesis, and detection of biomarkers leading to earlier cancer diagnosis.

One of his main focuses has been on putting this technology on a portable medical card and bringing it into the operating room during breast cancer surgery in order to image a tumor as soon as it’s been excised. This will allow for a better understanding of breast cancer anatomy, including the cells present, the collagen structure, and the level of metabolic activity.

Dr. Boppart also discusses how the quantity and type of extracellular vesicles differ depending on whether it’s been produced by cancerous or healthy tissue, and how this discovery would have been impossible if only using standard methods in histology.

For more information, check out https://biophotonics.illinois.edu/.

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