Multimodal optical imaging for detecting breast cancer

J Biomed Opt. 2012 Jun;17(6):066008. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.17.6.066008.


The goal of the study was to evaluate wide-field and high-resolution multimodal optical imaging, including polarization, reflectance, and fluorescence for the intraoperative detection of breast cancer. Lumpectomy specimens were stained with 0.05 mg/ml aqueous solution of methylene blue (MB) and imaged. Wide-field reflectance images were acquired between 390 and 750 nm. Wide-field fluorescence images were excited at 640 nm and registered between 660 and 750 nm. High resolution confocal reflectance and fluorescence images were excited at 642 nm. Confocal fluorescence images were acquired between 670 nm and 710 nm. After imaging, the specimens were processed for hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) histopathology. Histological slides were compared with wide-field and high-resolution optical images to evaluate correlation of tumor boundaries and cellular morphology, respectively. Fluorescence polarization imaging identified the location, size, and shape of the tumor in all the cases investigated. Averaged fluorescence polarization values of tumor were higher as compared to normal tissue. Statistical analysis confirmed the significance of these differences. Fluorescence confocal imaging enabled cellular-level resolution. Evaluation and statistical analysis of MB fluorescence polarization values registered from single tumor and normal cells demonstrated higher fluorescence polarization from cancer. Wide-field high-resolution fluorescence and fluorescence polarization imaging shows promise for intraoperative delineation of breast cancers.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Carcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Carcinoma / surgery
  • Contrast Media / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Fluorescence Polarization
  • Humans
  • Methylene Blue / pharmacology
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Models, Statistical
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Optics and Photonics / methods
  • Pilot Projects


  • Contrast Media
  • Methylene Blue