Bioinspired color-near infrared endoscopic imaging system for molecular guided cancer surgery

Mebin B. George, Benjamin Lew, Steven Blair, Zhongmin Zhu, Zuodong Liang, Indrajit Srivastava, Austin Chang, Hyungsoo Choi, Kyekyoon Kim, Shuming Nie, Sunil Singhal, Viktor Gruev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Significance: Fluorescently guided minimally invasive surgery is improving patient outcomes and disease-free survival, but biomarker variability hinders complete tumor resection with single molecular probes. To overcome this, we developed a bioinspired endoscopic system that images multiple tumor-targeted probes, quantifies volumetric ratios in cancer models, and detects tumors in ex vivo samples. Aim: We present a new rigid endoscopic imaging system (EIS) that can capture color images while simultaneously resolving two near-infrared (NIR) probes. Approach: Our optimized EIS integrates a hexa-chromatic image sensor, a rigid endoscope optimized for NIR-color imaging, and a custom illumination fiber bundle. Results: Our optimized EIS achieves a 60% improvement in NIR spatial resolution when compared to a leading FDA-approved endoscope. Ratio-metric imaging of two tumor-targeted probes is demonstrated in vials and animal models of breast cancer. Clinical data gathered from fluorescently tagged lung cancer samples on the operating room's back table demonstrate a high tumor-to-background ratio and consistency with the vial experiments. Conclusions: We investigate key engineering breakthroughs for the single-chip endoscopic system, which can capture and distinguish numerous tumor-targeting fluorophores. As the molecular imaging field shifts toward a multi-tumor targeted probe methodology, our imaging instrument can aid in assessing these concepts during surgical procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number056002
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • bioinspired image sensor
  • endoscopy
  • fluorescence-guided surgery
  • multiple fluorophore imaging
  • near-infrared contrast agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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