Announcement of Michelson-Diagnostics OCT-News Student Travel Grant Winner
On November 4th OCT News in partnership with Michelson Diagnostics and funded by a generous donation from Michelson Diagnostics, announced a $1,500 student travel grant opportunity. We received numerous submissions all of which displayed outstanding work. The awards were ranked by OCT News, Michelson Diagnostics, and an independent 3rd party based on results, presentation, novelty, and potential utility. The final rankings of the top 3rd of the presentations were nearly identical and choosing a winner was difficult. The winner was Yan Wang for her submission on “Quantitative assessment of peripheral nerve damage using polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography”. Ms. Wang is a second-year graduate student in the PhD program in the Bioengineering Department at the University of California at Riverside working with Dr. Boris Hyle Park. Below is a brief description and PowerPoint presentation of her work.
The necessity of surgical intervention for peripheral nerve damage often depends on the severity of the injury. Histological evaluation of nerve fiber counts and degree of myelination is destructive and cannot be used clinically. Clinical evaluation is typically done through nerve conduction velocity testing, which does not provide accurate quantitative information on degree of myelination. There remains a need for a clinically useful non-destructive method to evaluate the nerve health (degree of myelination) to facilitate assessment of nerve injury and appropriate treatment methods. Polarization sensitive-OCT (PS-OCT) utilizes depth-dependent changes in the polarization state of light backscattered from within tissue to determine the light polarization changing properties, such as birefringence, of a sample. Myelin exhibits a much higher birefringence than bare axons, and therefore, the degree of myelination of the peripheral nerve can be quantifiably assessed through determination of its birefringence. Preliminary results using a rat sciatic nerve animal model show that the birefringence derived from optical imaging correlates well with histologically-obtained measures of nerve myelination.
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