A novel, high-resolution, needle-based optical coherence tomography (OCT) device for improving the ability to detect early epithelial dysplasia in solid tissues/organs in vivo is currently in development. An instrument capable of real-time imaging of tissue microstructures in vivo could improve the ability to detect pathologic conditions such as dysplasia, and consequently improve patient outcomes. OCT is an emerging technology that can perform real-time cross-sectional imaging of tissue structures at micron-scale resolution in vivo. OCT has been shown to be effective in the imaging of luminal epithelium, capable of detecting epithelial dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus, and colonic polyps. However, OCT imaging depth with conventional probes is limited to the luminal surface (∼1-2 mm). The development of a technology and device that enables high-resolution, real-time imaging of solid tissues beyond 1- to 2-mm deep at or near the cellular level in vivo could improve the diagnosis of diseases of the pancreas and other solid organs.
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