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Physics in Medicine and Biology


Thayer School of Engineering


A multimodal micro-computed tomography (CT) and multi-spectral structured light imaging (SLI) system is introduced and systematically analyzed to test its feasibility to aid in margin delineation during breast conserving surgery (BCS). Phantom analysis of the micro-CT yielded a signal-to-noise ratio of 34, a contrast of 1.64, and a minimum detectable resolution of 240 ?m for a 1.2?min scan. The SLI system, spanning wavelengths 490?nm to 800?nm and spatial frequencies up to 1.37 , was evaluated with aqueous tissue simulating phantoms having variations in particle size distribution, scatter density, and blood volume fraction. The reduced scattering coefficient, and phase function parameter, ?, were accurately recovered over all wavelengths independent of blood volume fractions from 0% to 4%, assuming a flat sample geometry perpendicular to the imaging plane. The resolution of the optical system was tested with a step phantom, from which the modulation transfer function was calculated yielding a maximum resolution of 3.78 cycles per mm. The three dimensional spatial co-registration between the CT and optical imaging space was tested and shown to be accurate within 0.7?mm. A freshly resected breast specimen, with lobular carcinoma, fibrocystic disease, and adipose, was imaged with the system. The micro-CT provided visualization of the tumor mass and its spiculations, and SLI yielded superficial quantification of light scattering parameters for the malignant and benign tissue types. These results appear to be the first demonstration of SLI combined with standard medical tomography for imaging excised tumor specimens. While further investigations are needed to determine and test the spectral, spatial, and CT features required to classify tissue, this study demonstrates the ability of multimodal CT/SLI to quantify, visualize, and spatially navigate breast tumor specimens, which could potentially aid in the assessment of tumor margin status during BCS.




This work is licensed under a CC BY 3.0 license.

Original Citation

McClatchy DM, Rizzo EJ, Meganck J, Kempner J, Vicory J, Wells WA, Paulsen KD, Pogue BW. Calibration and analysis of a multimodal micro-CT and structured light imaging system for the evaluation of excised breast tissue. Phys Med Biol. 2017 Nov 10;62(23):8983-9000. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/aa94b6. PMID: 29048330; PMCID: PMC5729028.