A Biomimetic Electrostatic Imaging System Proposed for Real-Time In-Vivo Surgical Guidance of Tumor Resection [Poster]

NESL Technical Report #: 2011-10-1



The surgical isolation and resection of tumor cells is confounded by the shared origin of abhorrent and normal tissue. The cells appear similar under visual inspection and tumor boundaries occur on a scale beneath the limits of human hand manipulation. As a result, modern surgical practice involves the use of resonant and functional imaging to identify the boundaries pre-operatively and then register this prior visualization against the patient intra-operatively (a few recently constructed facilities allow the patient to be moved back and forth via a co-located MRI system). In either case, surgical conservatism results in additional tissue loss than might otherwise be necessary. What is needed is high-resolution spatio-temporal guidance for the removal of tumor tissue that can operate in-vivo, in real time, without precluding simultaneous surgical action.

In this work we discuss our development efforts towards an active electric field-based imaging system, which was inspired by study and replication of the electroreceptive organ systems of certain fish species. These fish are able to discern the presence of objects in their surrounding environment by the perturbation those objects introduce to their emitted electric field. In essence, they are imaging the conductivity variations. Cancer cells are less electrically active than normal brain tissue and, it is proposed, that they can be identified and isolated in the same manner. Our Biomimetic Electrostatic Imaging (BEI) system is under development to provide the desired real-time navigation for surgical resection of brain and other cancerous tumors.

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Publication Forum: Physical Sciences in Oncology Center Short Course

Page (Count): 1

Date: 2011-10-01

Place: Center for Applied Molecular Med

Publisher: University of Southern California (USC)

Public Document?: Yes

NESL Document?: Yes

Document category: Poster