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CBST researchers have successfully built a portable fluorescence lifetime imaging microscope (FLIM) system that can be used in the operating suite to characterize tissue in vivo, without the need for excisional biopsy. We are working with otolaryngologists at UC Davis Medical Center to validate the use of FLIM to identify head-and-neck tumors.
❖ To develop the FLIM system for in vivo and clinical applications, a semi-flexible endoscope has been designed and fabricated using fiber optics and a gradient index (GRIN) lens.
❖ The GRIN lens functions as an objective that projects an image to a 0.6mm imaging bundle containing 10,000 optical fibers. Three excitation fibers and the bundle are protected in a standard ferrule with a 3.8 mm outer diameter. The excitation light is optically dispersed and aligned by a micro lens to allow for uniform illumination.
❖ The endoscope is sufficiently rugged to undergo standard sterilization procedures.