Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Biomedical Optics


Thayer School of Engineering

Additional Department

Geisel School of Medicine


Directional Fourier spatial frequency analysis was used on standard histological sections to identify salient directional bias in the spatial frequencies of stromal and epithelial patterns within tumor tissue. This directional bias is shown to be correlated to the pathway of reduced fluorescent tracer transport. Optical images of tumor specimens contain a complex distribution of randomly oriented aperiodic features used for neoplastic grading that varies with tumor type, size, and morphology. The internal organization of these patterns in frequency space is shown to provide a precise fingerprint of the extracellular matrix complexity, which is well known to be related to the movement of drugs and nanoparticles into the parenchyma, thereby identifying the characteristic spatial frequencies of regions that inhibit drug transport. The innovative computational methodology and tissue validation techniques presented here provide a tool for future investigation of drug and particle transport in tumor tissues, and could potentially be used a priori to identify barriers to transport, and to analyze real-time monitoring of transport with respect to therapeutic intervention.