Bioluminescent Imaging (BLI) & TumorLight
Bioluminescence formulated for medical imaging
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.