Optical sensor for real-time tissue identification at the tip of medical procedure needles

 
Anatomy of midline spine tissues encountered during epidural needle placement

Anatomy of midline spine tissues encountered during epidural needle placement

 

Overview

In the U.S., there are more than 40 million medical procedures with blind or semi-blind needle and instrument insertion into tissues, including:
•25 million lumbar punctures
•13 million epidurals
•1 million prostate biopsies
•1 million breast biopsies
•2 million laparoscopic surgery primary trocar placement
•1 million additional tissue biopsies
•1 million joint injections
•1 million fluid collection aspiration

Problems

Complications from these procedures can be serious and are commonly a result of needle tip misplacement.
•Epidurals: 1-2% headaches, 5-10% non-functioning, 0.04% spinal cord injury
•Prostate biopsy: 6% infection, 2% hospital admission
•Laparoscopic surgery: 0.2% injury to organs or blood vessels
•Joint injections: 25% wrong tissue

Our Solution

We've developed an optical sensor that uses multi-modal spectroscopy (MMS) to identify tissues and organs near the tip of procedural needles and instruments in order to increase accuracy and decrease complication rates. MMS is a combination of Raman spectroscopy (RS), diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), and intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy (IFS). This technology has previously been shown to aid with the diagnosis of breast, colon, prostate, oral, skin, and cervical cancers as well as atherosclerosis.