BrainMap talk by Gary Tearney

Monday, April 30, 2018 - 12:00 to 13:00
CNY149-2204 seminar room

Seeing the unseen in patients: Advancing disease prevention and treatment through microimaging

Today's gold standard for medical diagnosis is histology of excised biopsies or surgical specimens where tissue is removed from the body, processed, sectioned, stained, and looked at under a microscope by a pathologist. There are many limitations to this paradigm, including the facts that it is inherently invasive, time consuming, costly, and dangerous for some organs. Furthermore, oftentimes the diseased tissue is not readily seen by visual inspection. In these instances, the tissue is sampled at a random location, which can be highly inaccurate. If we could instead conduct microscopy inside the body, then we could overcome these limitations and provide real-time tools for screening, targeting biopsies, making diagnoses, and guiding intervention with cellular-level precision. This promise has motivated the development of a new field, termed in vivo microscopy, the goal of which is to obtain microscopic images from living human patients. Two in vivo microscopy technologies, confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography, are currently available and in clinical use. Upcoming developments, such as whole organ microscopy, swallowable microscopy capsules, molecular imaging, and very high resolution microscopic imaging devices are in the pipeline and will likely transform how disease is diagnosed and medicine is practiced in the future.