5th December 2011, Belfast, UK: Skin cancer is the most common form of human cancer with annual rates continuing to climb from their current estimate of just over three million new cases each year. Although all skin cancers share the likelihood of a favourable outcome if early diagnosis and complete resection are achieved, diagnosis is invasive, subjective, lengthy and expensive involving expert visual inspection, biopsy and histopathology.
Now, a joint US-Dutch team under the direction of Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, Vanderbilt University, US, has developed a non-invasive probe capable of both morphological and biochemical characterization of skin cancers. The portable instrument combines a Raman spectroscopy (RS) system with an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) device and enables sequential acquisition of co-registered OCT and RS data sets. An Andor high resolution, near-infrared-enhanced Newton camera was chosen as the core element of the Raman diagnosis module. The probe will screen large areas of skin up to 15 mm wide to a depth of 2.4 mm with OCT to visualize microstructural irregularities and perform an initial morphological analysis of lesions. The OCT images are then used to identify locations to acquire biochemically specific Raman spectra.
“Due to the inherently weak nature of Raman scattering and the relatively intense background autofluorescence from tissue, collection efficiency is a critical factor in the design of clinical RS probes,” says Chetan A. Patil, Vanderbilt University, US. “Unlike confocal approaches that emphasize axial resolution, our probe is designed to prioritize collection efficiency. The high sensitivity of the Andor Newton CCD’s back-illuminated, deep-depletion, thermo-electrically cooled design is well suited to the stringent demands of in vivo Raman spectroscopy.
“Having demonstrated the clinical potential of the RS-OCT instrument to rapidly screen at risk patients, we are continuing to develop the dual-modal technique for other applications where non-invasive assessment of both microstructure and biochemical composition are critical to accurate assessment of pathology. The Labview software development kit, which is supplied with the camera and supported directly by Andor, was crucial in the development of our first probe and in our on-going research,” concludes Patil.
According to Antoine Varagnat, Product Specialist at Andor, “With its high sensitivity in the NIR enabled by high Quantum Efficiency and deep TE-cooling interface, the Newton Deep-Depletion CCD platform is just the right detector for demanding clinical NIR spectral diagnosis. One also gets the benefit of long-lasting detection performance and reliability with Andor’s UltraVac™ vacuum technology, alongside high speed acquisitions and ease of integration.”
Andor’s modular Spectroscopy solutions encompass a wide range of high performance CCD, ICCD, EMCCD and InGaAs array detectors, as well as a comprehensive range of Research-grade spectrograph platforms. To learn more about the Newton camera series and their use in spectroscopy, please visit the Andor website spectroscopy pages [www.andor.com/spectroscopy_solutions].
RS-OCT of a nodular basal cell carcinoma over the right temple. a: OCT image of normal skin adjacent to lesion shows hyporeflective sub-surface features that are likely sebaceous glands and hair follicles (green arrows). White arrow indicates area where epidermal-dermal boundary is most visible. Red area approximates axis of RS acquisition. b: The OCT image of the BCC shows a set of hypo-reflective regions in the dermis beneath the red arrow, which indicates the axis of RS. It is likely that these features correspond to tumour cell nests based on the pathology. c: The representative histology (10x magnification, scale bar = 150 µm) shows the presence of a number of tumour cell nests (arrows) characteristic of BCC. d: The mean Raman spectra exhibit distinct differences between the BCC and normal in the regions centred at 1,090, 1,300, and 1,440 cm-1.
Chetan A. Patil, Harish Kirshnamoorthi, Darrel L. Ellis, Ton G. van Leeuwen, and Anita Mahadevan-Jansen “A Clinical Instrument for Combined Raman Spectroscopy-Optical Coherence Tomography of Skin Cancers,” Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 43:143–151 (2011)
About Andor Technology
Andor is a world leader in Scientific Imaging, Spectroscopy Solutions and Microscopy Systems. Established in 1989 from Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Andor Technology now employs over 300 people in 16 offices worldwide, distributing its portfolio of over 80 products to 10,000 customers in 55 countries.
Using the latest cutting edge technologies, Andor designs and manufactures robust, high performance instruments allowing scientists around the world to measure light down to a single photon and capture events occurring within 1 billionth of a second. This unique capability is helping them push back the boundaries of knowledge from nano-scale to universe-scale level in fields as diverse as drug discovery, new material development and analysis, medical diagnosis, food quality control, art restoration, astronomy and solar energy research.
More information about Andor Technology PLC (LSE: AND) is available at the company's website [www.andor.com].
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