Technologies that can help make accurate, objective and automated decisions to aid the pathologist are sorely needed in clinical practice to improve accuracy and contain costs. The major goal of this project is to provide a practical imaging instrument for clinical and research use that can be operated by any trained person in pathology laboratories. The approach is based, first, on developing novel instrumentation and analytical methods for robust discrete frequency infrared (DF-IR) spectroscopic imaging. The instrument presents a departure from the current state of the art. Second, the approach is made practical by enabling the incorporation of uncooled detectors via advanced control algorithms. Last, the developed instrument is tested in a clinical setting and results that will lead to clinical trials will be obtained. If the project is successful, it has the potential to transform decision-making for patients and alter the standard practice of histologic assessment in research. We specifically target two areas: the rapid detection of important biopsy slides in prostate cancer (those that are diagnostically valid and contain cancer) and rapid detection of cancer in breast tissues. Both are accomplished without any dyes, stains or human supervision.

Public Health Relevance

The first goal of this project is to provide a new chemical imaging instrument for clinical and research use that can be operated by any trained person in pathology laboratories. The project has the potential to transform diagnosis and therapy decisions for patients by enabling early decisions and accurate diagnoses without dyes, stains or human input. Proposing to develop the processes for breast and prostate cancer, the technology could impact over 2 million people screened positive for cancer every year. If successful, establishment of the instrumentation and analytical methods here would alter the standard practice in histologic assessment of future research in cancer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Research Project (R01)
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Instrumentation and Systems Development Study Section (ISD)
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Conroy, Richard
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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
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United States
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