OCT/NEAR-INFRARED DETECTION: Funding endorses intraoperative OCT, NIR brain scanning

The National Eye Institute has allocated a total of $1.72 million in grants to Bioptigen for development of microscope-integrated intraoperative OCT technology.

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The National Eye Institute (NEI; Bethesda, MD) has allocated a total of $1.72 million in grants to Bioptigen (Morrisville, NC) for development of microscope-integrated intraoperative optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology. Presently, perioperative OCT imaging is performed using a handheld probe, or by mounting such a probe to the surgical microscope. Under the new NEI grant, the company will advance development of a novel intraoperative system integrated directly into the optical train of the surgical microscope.

"Ultimately, the ability to observe sub-surface structures simultaneous with surgical manipulations will provide surgeons with a critical advance in microscopic visualization, with the goal of improving patient outcomes and reducing surgical risk," says Dr. Eric Buckland, CEO of Bioptigen.

The company's Microscope Integrated SDOCT design provides real-time imaging over a field of view 20 mm wide and 15 mm in depth. The system images ocular tissue structure at 6 μm axial resolution, and offers independent OCT focus and zoom controls for flexibility in posterior and anterior imaging. Right now, the device is for investigational use only, as it is not cleared by the FDA to be marketed, sold, or distributed within the U.S.

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InfraScan's Infrascanner Model 2000 was developed following the specifications of the U.S. Marine Corps; new funding will support extended capabilities.

In another government funding deal, InfraScan (Philadelphia, PA) will receive $3.7 million over four years from the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy to develop a next-generation version of its Infrascanner brain hematoma detector. The device is a commercially available, noninvasive device based on differential near-infrared (NIR) light absorption. The military contract will support the development of new, integrated capabilities, including the ability to detect changes in local oxygen saturation within brain and extremity tissues; detect brain edema; and administer a neurological concussion evaluation exam. The device will support expedient assessment and triage of brain-injured personnel.

The company will partner with researchers in Drexel University's School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems to redesign the device and test the new prototype. Drexel biomedical engineers participated in the design and testing of the original Infrascanner and will use their expertise in the optical brain imaging technology they've been developing.

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