Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and is a recognized public health issue. Diagnosis of skin cancer involves biopsy of the suspicious lesion followed by histopathology. Biopsies, which involve excision of the lesion, are invasive, at times unnecessary, and are costly procedures ( $2.8B/year in the US). An unmet critical need exists to develop a non-invasive and inexpensive screening method that can eliminate the need for unnecessary biopsies. To address this need, our group has reported on the continued development of a multimodal spectroscopy (MMS) system towards the goal of a spectral biopsy of skin. Our approach combines Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy to collect comprehensive optical property information from suspicious skin lesions. We describe our present efforts to develop an updated MMS system composed of OEM components that will be smaller, less expensive, and more clinic-friendly than the previous system. Key system design choices include the selection of miniature spectrometers, a fiber-coupled broadband light source, a fiber coupled diode laser, and a revised optical probe. Selection of these components results in a 50% reduction in system footprint, resulting in a more clinic-friendly system. We also present preliminary characterization data from the updated MMS system, showing similar performance with our revised optical probe design. Finally, we present in vivo skin measurements taken with the updated MMS system. Future work includes the initiation of a clinical study (n = 250) of the MMS system to characterize its performance in identifying skin cancers.
Raman spectroscopy (RS) is proving to be a valuable tool for real time noninvasive skin cancer detection via optical fiber probe. However, current methods utilizing RS for skin cancer diagnosis rely on statistically based algorithms to provide tissue classification and do not elucidate the underlying biophysical changes of skin tissue. Therefore, we aim to use RS to explore skin biochemical and structural characteristics and then correlate the Raman spectrum of skin tissue with its disease state. We have built a custom confocal micro-Raman spectrometer system with an 830nm laser light. The high resolution capability of the system allows us to measure spectroscopic features from individual tissue components in situ. Raman images were collected from human skin samples from Mohs surgical biopsy, which were then compared with confocal laser scanning, two-photon fluorescence and hematoxylin and eosin-stained images to develop a linear model of skin tissue Raman spectra. In this model, macroscopic tissue spectra obtained from RS fiber probe were fit into a linear combination of individual basis spectra of primary skin constituents. The fit coefficient of the model explains the biophysical changes spanning a range of normal and various disease states. The model allows for determining parameters similar to that a pathologist is familiar reading and will be a significant guidance in developing RS diagnostic decision schemes.
Our group previously introduced Polarized Spatial Frequency Domain Imaging (PSFDI), a wide-field, reflectance imaging technique which we used to empirically map fiber direction in porcine pulmonary heart valve leaflets (PHVL) without optical clearing or physical sectioning of the sample. Presented is an extended analysis of our PSFDI results using an inverse Mueller matrix model of polarized light scattering that allows additional maps of fiber orientation distribution, along with instrumentation permitting increased imaging speed for dynamic PHVL fiber measurements. We imaged electrospun fiber phantoms with PSFDI, and then compared these measurements to SEM data collected for the same phantoms. PHVL was then imaged and compared to results of the same leaflets optically cleared and imaged with small angle light scattering (SALS). The static PHVL images showed distinct regional variance of fiber orientation distribution, matching our SALS results. We used our improved imaging speed to observe bovine tendon subjected to dynamic loading using a biaxial stretching device. Our dynamic imaging experiment showed trackable changes in the fiber microstructure of biological tissue under loading. Our new PSFDI analysis model and instrumentation allows characterization of fiber structure within heart valve tissues (as validated with SALS measurements), along with imaging of dynamic fiber remodeling. The experimental data will be used as inputs to our constitutive models of PHVL tissue to fully characterize these tissues' elastic behavior, and has immediate application in determining the mechanisms of structural and functional failure in PHVLs used as bio-prosthetic implants.
Abstract. We illustrate wide-field imaging of skin using a structured light (SL) approach that highlights the contrast from superficial tissue scattering. Setting the spatial frequency of the SL in a regime that limits the penetration depth effectively gates the image for photons that originate from the skin surface. Further, rendering the SL images in a color format provides an intuitive format for viewing skin pathologies. We demonstrate this approach in skin pathologies using a custom-built handheld SL imaging system.
A method for the synthesis of electroactive polymers is demonstrated, starting with the synthesis of extended conjugation monomers using a three-step process that finishes with Negishi coupling. Negishi coupling is a cross-coupling process in which a chemical precursor is first lithiated, followed by transmetallation with ZnCl2. The resultant organozinc compound can be coupled to a dibrominated aromatic precursor to give the conjugated monomer. Polymer films can be prepared via electropolymerization of the monomer and characterized using cyclic voltammetry and ultraviolet-visible-near infrared (UV-Vis-NIR) spectroscopy. Nanoparticles (NPs) are prepared via emulsion polymerization of the monomer using a two-surfactant system to yield an aqueous dispersion of the polymer NPs. The NPs are characterized using dynamic light scattering, electron microscopy, and UV-Vis-NIR-spectroscopy. Cytocompatibility of NPs is investigated using the cell viability assay. Finally, the NP suspensions are irradiated with a NIR laser to determine their effectiveness as potential materials for photothermal therapy (PTT).