Current concepts and future perspectives on surgical optical imaging in cancer

Vasilis Ntziachristos, Jung Sun Yoo, Gooitzen M. Van Dam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


There are vibrant developments of optical imaging systems and contrast-enhancing methods that are geared to enhancing surgical vision and the outcome of surgical procedures. Such optical technologies designed for intraoperative use can offer high integration in the operating room compared to conventional radiological modalities adapted to intraoperative applications. Simple fluorescence epi-illumination imaging, in particular, appears attractive but may lead to inaccurate observations due to the complex nature of photon-tissue interaction. Of importance therefore are emerging methods that account for the background optical property variation in tissues and can offer accurate, quantitative imaging that eliminates the appearance of false negatives or positives. In parallel, other nonfluorescent optical imaging methods are summarized and overall progress in surgical optical imaging applications is outlined. Key future directions that have the potential to shift the paradigm of surgical health care are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number066024
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer
  • intraoperative imaging
  • lymph node detection
  • near-infrared fluorescence
  • optical imaging
  • resection margin
  • tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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