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Combined Optical and Beta Probe for Vulnerable Plaque

Combined Optical and Beta Probe for Vulnerable Plaque (Developmental Collaborator-Driven Research Project)
UC Davis: R Badawi, L Marcu, W Monsky, J Wu, J Stickel, D Shelton, M Janecek

Atherosclerosis is a greater cause of mortality and morbidity then cancer. Current diagnostic techniques are sensitive to stenoses rather then lesion characteristics. We hypothesize that combining a beta-probe for localization and a TR-LIFS optical probe for plaque characterization will lead to a better understanding of the basic biology of atherosclerosis and eventually more accurate diagnosis and treatment of disease.

The goal of this project is to combine a beta probe for detecting positrons with an optical probe for time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy in a compact package that can be inserted intravascularly. This combined system will then be used to identify and characterize atherosclerotic lesions.

The milestones of this project are: (1) the construction and optimization of a beta probe for intravascular application, (2) characterization of the beta probe performance, (3) integration of the beta probe with the TR-LIFS optical probe and (4) characterization of the combined probe

We have developed a TR-LIFS apparatus that has been successfully used for the characterization of atherosclerotic plaque composition. We have also built a beta probe that has shown the ability to localize the atherosclerotic plaque within a vessel. We are optimizing the beta probe for detection and sensitivity and have developed a concentric-core approach design to integrate the two probes into a single device that is small enough to fit intravascularly.