BioScience Trends. 2018;12(1):12-23. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2017.01258)

Optical coherence tomography for precision brain imaging, neurosurgical guidance and minimally invasive theranostics.

Fan Y, Xia Y, Zhang X, Sun Y, Tang J, Zhang L, Liao H


This review focuses on optical coherence tomography (OCT)-based neurosurgical application for imaging and treatment of brain tumors. OCT has emerged as one of the most innovative and successful translational biomedical-diagnostic techniques. It is a useful imaging tool for noninvasive, in vivo, in situ and real-time imaging in soft biological tissues, such as brain tumor imaging. OCT can detect the structure of biological tissue in a micrometer scale, and functional OCT has some clinical researches and applications, such as nerve fiber tracts and neurovascular imaging. OCT is able to identify tumor margins, and it gives intraoperative precision identification and resection guidance. OCT-based theranostics is introduced into preclinical neurosurgical resection, such as the integration of OCT and laser ablation. We discuss the challenges and opportunities of OCT-based system in the field of combination of intraoperative structural and functional imaging, neurosurgical guidance and minimally invasive theranostics. We point out that OCT and laser ablation-based theranostics can give more precision and intelligence for intraoperative diagnosis and therapeutics in clinical applications. The theranostics can precisely locate, or specifically target cancerous tissues, and then as much as possiblly eliminate them.

KEYWORDS: Optical coherence tomography, brain imaging, neurosurgical guidance, brain tumor, minimally invasive theranostics

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