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Optical Virtual Biopsy Aids Robotic-Assisted Surgery

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 22 Aug 2017
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Image: The Cellvizio probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE) system (Photo courtesy of Mauna Kea Technologies).
Image: The Cellvizio probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE) system (Photo courtesy of Mauna Kea Technologies).
Ultra-High Definition (UHD) miniprobes provide visualization of body cavities, organs, and canals during endoscopic and laparoscopic surgical procedures, including robotic-assisted procedures.

The Mauna Kea Technologies (Suwanee, GA, USA) CelioFlex UHD confocal miniprobes are fiber optic probes designed to image the internal microstructure of tissues. CelioFlex UHD miniprobes are intended for use with the Cellvizio probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE) system in order to determine whether examined tissue is benign or malignant in patient management decisions. Embedded real-time image processing software combined with a high-speed laser scanning unit (LSU) allows the system to produce 12 frames per second (fps), so that the images stay sharp.

The system is designed so that only the flexible confocal miniprobes are inserted into the endoscope, leaving scanning and processing outside. The images thus come from a very thin focal plane that is optically projected into the tissues, a so-called “optical slicing” capability similar in principal to the physical slicing of endoscopically extracted tissues samples in standard histology. Probes are available for a wide range of conditions, including Barrett's Esophagus, Bilio-pancreatic strictures, pancreatic cysts, colorectal lesions, inflammatory bowel diseases, pulmonology and peripheral lung lesions.

“We see the ability to instantaneously visualize and characterize tissue at the cellular level as a natural extension to robotic-assisted procedures and enabling data-driven surgery, which will in-part rely on advanced imaging and machine learning algorithms to provide reliable, real-time tissue information to surgeons,” said Sacha Loiseau, PhD, founder and CEO of Mauna Kea Technologies.

pCLE is a diagnostic technique that allows microscopic examination of tissues during ongoing endoscopy. Different types of tissue and diseases can be diagnosed immediately, and analysis of the in vivo micro-architecture is helpful to better target standard biopsies and reduces the number of biopsies required. pCLE necessitates an intravenous injection of a fluorescent marker, such as fluorescein, to obtain a high level of magnification.

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