Comprehensive volumetric optical microscopy in vivo

Nat Med. 2006 Dec;12(12):1429-33. doi: 10.1038/nm1450. Epub 2006 Nov 19.


Comprehensive volumetric microscopy of epithelial, mucosal and endothelial tissues in living human patients would have a profound impact in medicine by enabling diagnostic imaging at the cellular level over large surface areas. Considering the vast area of these tissues with respect to the desired sampling interval, achieving this goal requires rapid sampling. Although noninvasive diagnostic technologies are preferred, many applications could be served by minimally invasive instruments capable of accessing remote locations within the body. We have developed a fiber-optic imaging technique termed optical frequency-domain imaging (OFDI) that satisfies these requirements by rapidly acquiring high-resolution, cross-sectional images through flexible, narrow-diameter catheters. Using a prototype system, we show comprehensive microscopy of esophageal mucosa and of coronary arteries in vivo. Our pilot study results suggest that this technology may be a useful clinical tool for comprehensive diagnostic imaging for epithelial disease and for evaluating coronary pathology and iatrogenic effects.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty
  • Animals
  • Coronary Angiography / methods
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / methods
  • Female
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Swine