Shining a Light - Literally - on New Diagnostic Pathways
Speaker: Ishan Barman, MIT
Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Location: Engineering Quadrangle J223
Date/Time: Thursday, February 21, 2013, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Integration of optical spectroscopy, analytical chemistry and pattern recognition methods is driving the development of biophotonic systems that have the capacity to elucidate latent information of a diverse array of pathophysiological conditions. This talk will highlight the application of biophotonics in two important clinical domains, namely diabetes monitoring and breast cancer diagnosis. First, I will outline the bench to bedside translation of a fully non-invasive blood glucose sensing approach and the challenges on the path to clinical realization. In particular, our efforts towards a spectroscopic solution of the well-known problem of physiological lag between the reference blood glucose values and the measured interstitial fluid glucose levels will be described. As an alternate route to diabetes monitoring, we will also demonstrate ultra-sensitive, label-free detection of long-term glycemic markers such as glycated hemoglobin, based principally on the coffee ring effect of analyte pre-concentration. The second half of the talk will focus on our pursuance of a combination of optical modalities for the real time characterization of breast cancer lesions at the patient bedside. Given the inability of existing techniques to accurately diagnose benign and malignant lesions in real-time, we have proposed a spectroscopy-based guidance mechanism for needle biopsy procedures. I will present the results of the first spectroscopic algorithms that are observed to substantially increase the diagnostic value of the biopsy, without relying on the action of exogenous contrast agents. The clinical translation of such integrative photonics approaches will offer new diagnostic pathways, due to their ability to provide high-throughput and high-content information in real-time and with minimal system perturbation.