• Polarimetric visualization of healthy brain fiber tracts for tumor delineation during neurosurgery, - LPICM, Ecole polytechnique, France

    HORAO - Polarimetric visualization of Healthy brain fiber tracts for tumor delineation during neurosurgery

    Description: Complete resection remains the first and most decisive step in treatment of most brain tumors. However, it is still difficult for the surgeon to differentiate healthy brain tissue from tumor tissue, even with state-of-the-art surgical microscopes. This, and the problem of not knowing what neurological function is inherent to a specific area of white matter visible during surgery, are risk factors for both incomplete resections and post-operative neurological deficits. With the limitations of current strategies of tumor visualization in mind, this SINERGIA consortium proposes instead to visualize and identify fibre tracts, as the absence of fibres would imply tumor tissue. In addition, seeing the spatial orientation of the tracts in the white matter will help the surgeon to determine their function (based on anatomical knowledge) and thus help to spare eloquent fibre tracts. Optical polarization has previously identified fibre tracts on thin histological sections in transmission configuration. Optical coherence microscopy shows brain fibre tracts in backscattering configuration, but requires scanning of a sample with a limited field of view. Wide-field imaging Mueller polarimetry (MP) is free of the drawbacks of the above-mentioned polarimetric techniques. Being dye-free and non-invasive, wide-field imaging MP has the potential for real-time use during surgery, as it operates in reflection and does not require sample scanning.Several rounds of preliminary exploratory tests with a custom-built multi-wavelength wide-field imaging MP on fresh animal brain tissue and formalin-fixed human brain conducted at the Ecole Polytechnique were very encouraging as fibres could not only be very well delineated, but also showed the spatial orientation of the fibre tracts. Consecutive analyses in the near in vivo Lab at UHB confirmed these results in human surgical specimens. In our latest round of tests we were able to demonstrate the reliability of MP in more challenging, surgery-like settings and to reliably identify distinct fibre tracts in the Mammal brain.The aim of the proposed project is to further test and refine the imaging MP for the purpose of brain surgery up to the point where it can be applied in a clinical setting. Read more

    Work location:
    LPICM Laboratoire de Physique des Interfaces et Couches Minces
    CNRS, Ecole polytechnique
    91128 Palaiseau

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