Ludguier Montejo Optical Tomography
Breast Imaging | Diagnosis of RA | Small Animal Imaging | Wireless Imaging | Breast Cancer Clinical Studies |



Research projects in Diffuse Optical Tomography at the
Biophotonics and Optical Radiology Laboratory range between hardware development, algorithm development, and clinical trial design. In fact, most projects actually require a combination of these three disciplines as they progress from an idea to a working prototype being used by physicians at a clinical setting. Some of our primary research projects include the application of DOT to breast cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis, peripheral arterial disease, infantile hemangiomas, and small-animal imaging. Brief overviews of these projects are provided below.

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Breast Imaging: Development of fast imaging system for the detection of breast cancer and therapy monitoring.
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The goal of the Breast Imaging Project is to design and validate an instrument for rapid optical imaging using digital detection techniques. The breast imager was recently completed, employing digital detection techniques that include multiple digital signal processor (DSP) chips for processing data. Configured in a master-slave architecture, these DSP chips can streamline data collection while minimizing cost, improving scalability, and maintaining low noise levels. Multiple clinical trials have been undertaken at Columbia University with the Breast Imaging system, including a study to evaluate the ability to detecting breast cancer using dynamic optical imaging, a pre-clinical study monitoring early tumor response to anti-angiogenic therapy, and a clinical study monitoring individual patient response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy.
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Joint Imaging: Development of algorithms & software to diagnose and monitor Rheumatoid Arthritis with DOT.
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The Joint Imaging Project aims to establish DOT imaging as a viable tool for diagnosing and monitoring Rheumatoid Arthritis through scans of proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints. Completed milestones of the project include the development of a dedicated frequency-domain DOT imaging system for scanning PIP joints and the necessary reconstruction algorithms for recovering the optical properties of the internal physiology of the finger joint. The current focus of the project is the development and validation of computer aided diagnosis (CAD) software for enhancing the ability to diagnose RA from DOT images. Machine learning techniques, such as support vector machines, are used to analyze clinical data and to discover biomarkers that correlate with the presence of RA.
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Small Animal Imaging: Design & development of novel imaging system for full-body fluorescence tomography.
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A hot topic in Optical Tomography is whole-body in-vivo optical imaging of small animals for its utility as a powerful tool for pre-clinical research. However, most commercial and prototype optical imaging systems are a camera based planar imaging systems and they cannot provide multi-directional views and measurement data that can improve the image reconstruction results. Our Small Animal Imager Project focuses on overcoming these issues through the development of a novel whole-body small-animal imager for DOT/FMT, which can provide a simultaneous omni-directional view and angularly-resolved measurements of an entire animal surface. The system can be used for any preclinical applications using DOT/FMT techniques, such as monitoring oxygen levels or detecting fluorescently tagged tumors.
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Wireless Imager: Development of wireless imaging technology for diagnosing and monitoring infantile hemangiomas.
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The goal of the Wireless Imager Project is to design, develop, and validate a handheld wireless device (HWD) to perform near-infrared spectroscopic measurements on infantile hemangiomas (IH). This device contains four sources and two photodetectors distanced 0.6 and 2.0 cm apart. Raw data, as recorded by the detectors, is used to evaluate hemoglobin concentrations and tissue oxygen saturation of superficial tissue. An accompanying software package was developed for an Android based mobile phone which can be used to directly control the imaging device. This makes the imaging system easy to use in a clinical setting. The device is currently in the validation phase as it is being used in a pilot longitudinal study at the School of Medicine at Columbia University.
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Breast Cancer Clinical Studies: Monitoring and assessing breast cancer response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
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Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is administered to patients that have locally advance breast cancer to decrease the size of their tumor. However, not all tumors will respond to this treatment, and it is difficult to predict before chemotherapy if a patient will have a response. Additionally, tumor response cannot be determined until after surgery. Using non-invasive imaging techniques for tumor monitoring, we can possibly predict the tumor response earlier within the treatment. Three dimensional reconstructions for oxy-hemoglobin concentrations ([HbO2]), deoxy-hemoglobin concentrations ([Hb]), and water are performed using a PDE-constrained multispectral imaging method. Preliminary results show that there is statistical significance for the percent change of [HbO2] and [Hb] at the two week time point from the baseline imaging between patients with a pathological complete response and a partial response.
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More details on each of our projects can be obtained by visting our comprehensive lists of Journal Publications and Conference Proceedings.