Study of freshly excised brain tissues using terahertz imaging

Biomed Opt Express. 2014 Jul 29;5(8):2837-42. doi: 10.1364/BOE.5.002837. eCollection 2014 Aug 1.


We demonstrated that tumors in freshly excised whole brain tissue could be differentiated clearly from normal brain tissue using a reflection-type terahertz (THz) imaging system. THz binary images of brain tissues with tumors indicated that the tumor boundaries in the THz images corresponded well to those in visible images. Grey and white-matter regions were distinguishable owing to the different distribution of myelin in the brain tissue. THz images corresponded closely with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results. The MRI and hematoxylin and eosin-stained microscopic images were investigated to account for the intensity differences in the THz images for fresh and paraffin-embedded brain tissue. Our results indicated that the THz signals corresponded to the cell density when water was removed. Thus, THz imaging could be used as a tool for label-free and real-time imaging of brain tumors, which would be helpful for physicians to determine tumor margins during brain surgery.

Keywords: (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (170.6795) Terahertz imaging.