In vivo cytometry: A spectrum of possibilities

Alice Chung, Scott Karlan, Erik Lindsley, Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu, Daniel L. Farkas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background: We investigate whether optical imaging can reliably detect abnormalities in tissue, in a range of specimens (live cells in vitro; fixed, fresh ex-vivo and in vivo tissue), without the use of added contrast agents, and review our promising spectral methods for achieving quantitative, real-time, high resolution intrasurgical optical diagnostics. Methods: We use reflectance, fluorescence, two-photon, and Mie scattering imaging, performed with instrumentation we developed or modified, to detect intrinsic tissue signatures. Emphasis is on spectral/hyperspectral imaging approaches allowing the equivalent of in vivo pathology. Results: With experimental focus on unstained specimens, we demonstrate the ability to segment tissue images for cancer detection. Spectral reflectance imaging, coupled with advanced analysis, typically yields 90% specificity and sensitivity. Autofluorescence is also shown to be diagnostically useful, with lymph nodes results highlighted here. Elastic scattering hyperspectral imaging endoscopy, using a new instrument we designed and built, shows promise in bronchoscopic detection of dysplasia and early cancer in patients. Conclusions: The results demonstrate that advanced optical imaging can detect and localize cellular signatures of cancer in real-time, in vivo, without the use of contrast agents, in animals and humans. This is an important step towards tight spatio-temporal coupling between such detection and clinical intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-146
Number of pages5
JournalCytometry Part A
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Elastic scattering imaging endoscopy
  • In vivo cytometry
  • Optical diagnostics
  • Spectral imaging
  • Unstained specimens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Biophysics
  • Endocrinology


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