A highly versatile endoscopic fluorescence imaging device has been developed for medical diagnostics. The device is multicolour so can be used with a wide range of smartprobes. A unique feature is the ability to record a fluorescence lifetime of a sample, revealing new clinical information, alongside widefield fluorescence images.
A number of medical diagnostic techniques require fluorescence imaging technology, but current endoscopic devices at best only provide single wavelength excitation, limiting the applicability. A multi-colour device allows a far greater range of tests to be carried out without changing the device configuration. Fluorescence lifetime imaging is not currently available in commercial endoscopic devices.
The basis of the technology is a specially designed thin-film interference filter that acts as an epi-fluorescence illuminator for one wavelength band, and as a reflector in other bands, as shown in the above figure. This arrangement has been shown to be feasible and cost-effective. Using this special component, microendoscopic systems can work in fluorescence mode for a selected wavelength band and reflection mode in other complementary bands.
Please note, the header image is purely illustrative.