1. Feature Of The Week 9/23/12: MGH Researchers Demonstrate Flexible Transbronchial OCT Imaging Needles for Biopsy Guidance

    Feature Of The Week 9/23/12: MGH Researchers Demonstrate Flexible Transbronchial OCT Imaging Needles for Biopsy Guidance

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems routinely use single-mode optical fibers to transfer light to and from biological samples.  The tiny cross section, low-cost, and flexibility of single-mode optical fibers have proven to be a powerful attribute that allows for a wide variety optical coherence tomography (OCT) probes to be constructed including ultra small catheters, guidewires, and endoscope to get light to and from hard to reach places in the human body.  OCT equipped fiber optic needle probes are increasingly proving to be powerful technique for guidance of needle placement (search "needle" in the search box to see some of the recent volume of work in this area).  Recently a leading OCT research group at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School published interesting work on a "Flexible transbronchial optical frequency domain imaging smart needle for biopsy guidance".  Below is a summary of their work.

    Transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) is a procedure routinely performed to diagnose peripheral pulmonary lesions. However, TBNA is associated with a low diagnostic yield due to inappropriate needle placement. We have developed a flexible transbronchial optical frequency domain imaging (TB-OFDI) catheter that functions as a “smart needle” to confirm the needle placement within the target lesion prior to biopsy. The TB-OFDI smart needle consists of a flexible and removable OFDI catheter (430 µm dia.) that operates within a standard 21-gauge TBNA needle. The OFDI imaging core is based on an angle polished ball lens design with a working distance of 160 µm from the catheter sheath and a spot size of 25 µm. To demonstrate the potential of the TB-OFDI smart needle for transbronchial imaging, an inflated excised swine lung was imaged through a standard bronchoscope. Cross-sectional and longitudinal OFDI results reveal the detailed network of alveoli in the lung parenchyma suggesting that the TB-OFDI smart needle may be a useful tool for guiding biopsy acquisition to increase the diagnostic yield.

    For more information see recent Article. Courtesy of Melissa Suter from the Massachusetts General Hosptial.

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