Intraoperative imaging in surgical oncology can provide information about the tumor microenvironment as well as information about the tumor margin. Visualizing microstructural features and molecular and functional dynamics may provide important diagnostic and prognostic information, especially when obtained in real-time at the point-of-procedure. A majority of current intraoperative optical techniques are based on the use of the labels, such as fluorescent dyes. However, these exogenous agents disrupt the natural microenvironment, perturb biological processes, and alter the endogenous optical signatures that cells and the microenvironment can provide. Portable nonlinear imaging systems have enabled intraoperative imaging for real-time detection and diagnosis of tissue. We review the development of a label-free multimodal nonlinear optical imaging technique that was adapted into a portable imaging system for intraoperative optical assessment of resected human breast tissue. New developments have applied this technology to assessing needle-biopsy specimens. Needle-biopsy procedures most always precede surgical resection and serve as the first sampling of suspicious masses for diagnosis. We demonstrate the diagnostic feasibility of imaging core needle-biopsy specimens during veterinary cancer surgeries. This intraoperative label-free multimodal nonlinear optical imaging technique can potentially provide a powerful tool to assist in cancer diagnosis at the point-of-procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9336224
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • Nonlinear optical imaging
  • auto-fluorescence
  • cancer diagnostics
  • cancer imaging
  • intraoperative optical imaging
  • label-free
  • multi-harmonic generation
  • multiphoton microscopy
  • needle biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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