This presentation overviews fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy and imaging techniques for label-free in vivo characterization of biological tissues. Emphasis is placed on recently developed devices and methods enabling real-time characterization and diagnosis of diseased tissues during clinical interventions. I will present studies conducted in animal models and human patients demonstrating the ability of these techniques to provide rapid in-situ evaluation of tissue biochemistry and their potential to guide surgical and intravascular procedures. Current results demonstrate that intrinsic fluorescence can provide useful contrast for the diagnosis of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques, intraoperative delineation of brain tumors and head and neck tumors. Finally, I will present results from the first-in-human study that shows the potential of a multispectral fluorescence lifetime method for image-guided augmented reality in trans-oral robotic surgery (TORS).
Laura Marcu is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Neurological Surgery at University of California at Davis. She received her doctorate degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Southern California in 1998. Her research interest is in the area of biomedical optics, with a particular focus on research for the development of optical techniques for tissue diagnostics including applications in oncology and cardiology. Since 2007 she has served as co-director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center – Biomedical Technology Program, at the UC Davis Medical Center. Currently, she serves as Associate Editor for Biomedical Optics Express and a member of the Editorial Board for Journal of Biophotonics. She is an elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers (AIMBE), the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), the Optical Society (OSA), the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).