Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy for brain tumor image-guided surgery

Yinghua Sun, Nisa Hatami, Matthew Yee, Jennifer Phipps, Daniel S. Elson, Fredric A Gorin, Rudolph J. Schrot, Laura Marcu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


We demonstrate for the first time the application of an endoscopic fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) system to the intraoperative diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The clinically compatible FLIM prototype integrates a gated (down to 0.2 ns) intensifier imaging system with a fiber-bundle (fiber image guide of 0.5 mm diameter, 10,000 fibers with a gradient index lens objective 0.5 NA, and 4 mm field of view) to provide intraoperative access to the surgical field. Experiments conducted in three patients undergoing craniotomy for tumor resection demonstrate that FLIM-derived parameters allow for delineation of tumor from normal cortex. For example, at 460±25-nm wavelength band emission corresponding to NADH/NADPH fluorescence, GBM exhibited a weaker florescence intensity (35% less, p-value <0.05) and a longer lifetime T GBM-Amean = 1.59±0.24 ns than normal cortex T NC-Amean = 1.28±0.04ns (p-value <0.005). Current results demonstrate the potential use of FLIM as a tool for image-guided surgery of brain tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number056022
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Brain tumors
  • Endoscopy
  • Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy
  • Intraoperative cancer diagnosis
  • Malignant glioma
  • Tissue autofluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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