HyperSpectral Imagers (HSI) – or imaging spectrometers – record both wavelength resolved (spectral) and structural (imaging) data simultaneously. HSI technology therefore has potential for multiplexed imaging of reflectance, autofluorescence and fluorescent contrast agents in cancer. Example applications can be found in the intraoperative, endoscopic and histopathological settings. A multiplexed readout from different pathological targets, such as cell surface receptors overexpressed in cancer cells and metabolic molecules such as NAD(H)/FAD, could improve both sensitivity and specificity of tumour identification. HSI could therefore advance fluorescence imaging by collecting the spectral profile of all fluorescent light emissions, as well as reflected incident light, enabling multivariate statistical analysis of disease progression from normal tissue through to adenocarcinoma.
For effective clinical translation of hyperspectral imaging there is, however, a need for compact and cost effective implementations of the technology that operate with high-throughput and in real-time. Until recently, the slow performance and high cost of the technology has been prohibitive for biomedical imaging. Recent advances in remote sensing, using HSI for integration in drones, has begun to drive new advances in this area. In our laboratory, we are integrating novel monolithic HSI into fluorescence imaging systems for application to preclinical cancer models. We will apply this approach to enable unmixing of injected contrast agents and tissue autofluorescence, with the goal of demonstrating multiplexed fluorescence imaging in vivo, particularly in endoscopy.
Dale Waterhouse, Travis Sawyer, Dr Jonghee Yoon, Dr James Joseph, Dr Abby Wilson
Imec, Belgium; Dr Massi di Pietro, Prof. Rebecca Fitzgerald (MRC Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge).