Many cases of epithelial cancer originate in basal layers of tissue and are initially undetected by conventional microendoscopy techniques. We present a bench-top, fiber-bundle microendoscope capable of providing high resolution images of surface cell morphology. Additionally, the microendoscope has the capability to interrogate deeper into material by using diffuse reflectance and broadband diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. The purpose of this multimodal technique was to overcome the limitation of microendoscopy techniques that are limited to only visualizing morphology at the tissue or cellular level. Using a custom fiber optic probe, high resolution surface images were acquired using topical proflavine to fluorescently stain non-keratinized epithelia. A 635 nm laser coupled to a 200 μm multimode fiber delivers light to the sample and the diffuse reflectance signal was captured by a 1 mm image guide fiber. Finally, a tungsten-halogen lamp coupled to a 200 μm multimode fiber delivers broadband light to the sample to acquire spectra at source-detector separations of 374, 729, and 1051 μm. To test the instrumentation, a high resolution proflavine-induced fluorescent image of resected healthy mouse colon was acquired. Additionally, five monolayer poly(dimethylsiloxane)-based optical phantoms with varying absorption and scattering properties were created to acquire diffuse reflectance profiles and broadband spectra.
Keywords: diffuse; fiber; microendoscopy; phantoms; proflavine; reflectance; spectroscopy.