BioLume’s Bioluminescent Imaging (BLI) represents a new method of molecular imaging (non-invasive visualization of cellular processes inside living organisms). Bioluminescent Imaging will allow researchers, doctors, and many others, to see objectives and critical processes with their naked eye, helping them be more efficient and accurate without the need for cumbersome and complicated equipment and procedures.
Bioluminescent Imaging (BLI) & TumorLight
Bioluminescence formulated for medical imaging
BioLume bioluminescent enzymes have broad applications in medical imaging including anatomic, vascular and molecular imaging. Optical (bioluminescent) imaging represents a shift in medical imaging from the visualization of anatomy and physiology to the study of metabolic and physiological processes, such as cancers, at the cellular level, often in real time. By tagging molecules with our natural bioluminescent enzymes, it is possible to track the progression of disease and evaluate the efficacy of a therapy. It is also possible to illuminate anatomical features such as tumors, ducts, and arteries. Once the bioluminescent light is produced on the molecular level, a visible light camera is used to acquire images through the tissue. These cameras are commercially available today and are less expensive than X-ray, CT, MRI, Nuclear, ultrasound, and PET equipment. BLI has minimal background activity, and is very sensitive and quantitative.
Imaging bile ducts to locate potential obstructions
Bioluminescent Imaging has the ability to enhance the visualization of anatomic structures and tissues that may be difficult to see with current laparoscopic technology, thus making procedures safer. The increased risk of common bile duct injury described since the development of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, is an example of a persistent clinical problem that will benefit from BLI. It has been demonstrated that common bile duct injury risk is mitigated by liberal use of cholangiography. Current cholangiography techniques using fluoroscopy and iodinated contrast, though effective, can be considered cumbersome due the requirement of technician support, equipment positioning and shielding. This has limited the routine performance of intraoperative cholangiography. BLI is designed to replace the need for intraoperative radiology in selected laparoscopic procedures thus promoting more widespread application of operative techniques that enhance patient safety.
The novelty of BLI in laparoscopic procedures is the fact that no target tissue to which the bioluminescent agent binds is required, rather the bioluminescent agent fills and illuminates a cavity. BLI takes advantage of this light as it is seen by the camera itself. In the case of operative cholangiography, this obviates the need for intraoperative fluoroscopy. Initial studies in animal and cadaver models demonstrate sensitive visualization of anatomic structures, including but not limited to the biliary tree, vascular structures and gastrointestinal lumens. Future directions include refinement, selection and adaptation of cameras sensitive to bioluminescent light for use in laparoscopic procedures. Visualizing the photons emitted by BLI with increasingly sensitive cameras has multiple potential advantages as compared to use of traditional radiologic techniques.