Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Medical Devices
Medical Devices
Depth-Resolved Reflectance Instrument
WARF: P05015US

Inventors: Nirmala Ramanujam, Liu Quan

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing an improved instrument that can be used to collect and analyze optical information from a pre-cancerous or cancerous target in epithelial tissue or other turbid medium.
Phsyicians often use microscopic visual inspection followed by biopsy to detect cancer; however, this method is limited in many ways. Optical techniques are a promising alternative that allows clinicians to quickly and nondestructively measure properties of tissue layers in vivo that are associated with pre-cancer and cancer.

Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy involves illuminating surfaces and measuring diffusely scattered light from the same surface. It has been shown that absorption and scattering in pre-cancerous and cancerous tissues vary with depth and differ from those of healthy tissues. However, current methods of analyzing scattered light function only in one-layered tissue and are not appropriate for squamous epithelial tissues, which have a multi-layered structure.
The Invention
UW-Madison researchers have developed an improved reflectance instrument and method to collect and analyze optical information from a pre-cancerous or cancerous target in a turbid medium, such as epithelial tissue. The instrument uses a smart fiber-optic probe to deliver a selected wavelength of light to tissue and sense the reflected light from specific layers. Altering the angles of illumination and detection relative to the tissue surface and the source-detector separation allows the clinician to probe at various depths beneath the surface of the tissue. Specially designed modeling for two-layered tissue enables the user to extract information from each individual layer for diagnosis.
  • Cancer detection
Key Benefits
  • Adaptable to current endoscopic optical imaging systems without significantly increasing complexity or cost
  • Reduces the need for biopsy
  • Non-invasive, i.e., does not physically damage tissue or biological molecules
  • Allows user to probe at varying depths within the tissue
  • Enables rapid, non-invasive examination of human tissues
  • More easily detects tissue properties already accepted for pre-cancer diagnosis
Additional Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9846