Jennifer Kehlet Barton
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) can provide new insight into disease progression and therapy by enabling nondestructive, serial imaging of in vivo cancer models. In previous studies, we have shown the utility of endoscopic OCT for identifying adenomas in the azoxymethane-treated mouse model of colorectal cancer and tracking disease progression over time. Because of improved imaging speed made possible through Fourier domain imaging, three-dimensional imaging of the entire mouse colon is possible. Increased amounts of data can facilitate more accurate classification of tissue but require more time on the part of the researcher to sift through and identify relevant data. We present quantitative software for automatically identifying potentially diseased areas that can be used to create a two-dimensional "disease map" from a three-dimensional Fourier domain OCT data set. In addition to sensing inherent changes in tissue that occur during disease development, the algorithm is sensitive to exogeneous highly scattering gold nanoshells that can be targeted to disease biomarkers. The results of the algorithm were compared to histological diagnosis. The algorithm was then used to assess the ability of gold nanoshells targeted to epidermal growth factor receptor in vivo to enable functional OCT imaging.
Recent research has suggested that endothelialization of vascular stents is crucial to reducing the risk of late stent thrombosis. With a resolution of approximately 10 microm, optical coherence tomography (OCT) may be an appropriate imaging modality for visualizing the vascular response to a stent and measuring the percentage of struts covered with an anti-thrombogenic cellular lining. We developed an image analysis program to locate covered and uncovered stent struts in OCT images of tissue-engineered blood vessels. The struts were found by exploiting the highly reflective and shadowing characteristics of the metallic stent material. Coverage was evaluated by comparing the luminal surface with the depth of the strut reflection. Strut coverage calculations were compared to manual assessment of OCT images and epi-fluorescence analysis of the stented grafts. Based on the manual assessment, the strut identification algorithm operated with a sensitivity of 93% and a specificity of 99%. The strut coverage algorithm was 81% sensitive and 96% specific. The present study indicates that the program can automatically determine percent cellular coverage from volumetric OCT datasets of blood vessel mimics. The program could potentially be extended to assessments of stent endothelialization in native stented arteries.