Project Details
Project description 

Surgery remains an effective treatment for many cancers and is often the only curative treatment option. During surgery, it is very important that all malignant tissue is removed but also that vital structures are left intact. Recognizing the malignant tissue is not always obvious and metastases can be left undetected. To guarantee safe and complete removal, it would be of major benefit to a surgeon to have some kind of guidance.
This guidance could be made possible with fluorescent contrast agents that can selectively light-up the cancerous tissue. Such contrast agents are currently emerging and, in particular, near-infrared nanobody-based tracers are being developed at the VUB ICMI department by the group of Prof. Hernot. These tracers have the benefit that they are very specific, quickly reach their target and emit light in the near infrared spectrum that can penetrate deeper through tissue.
This project aims at researching novel image sensors to capture that fluorescence emission and to be used in future fluorescence guided surgery systems. Our image sensors will be capable of not only detecting the fluorescence intensity but also the specific fluorescence lifetime. The fluorescence lifetime is needed to separate the useful signal from the background but today no image sensors exist that have the necessary low-noise and efficiency characteristics.

Runtime: 2019 - 2022