Label-free fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy detects radiation-induced necrotic changes in live brain in real-time

Brad A. Hartl, Htet S.W. Ma, Shamira Sridharan, Katherine S. Hansen, Michael S. Kent, Fredric Gorin, Ruben C. Fragoso, Laura Marcu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Current clinical imaging modalities do not reliably identify brain tissue regions with necrosis following radiotherapy. This creates challenges for stereotaxic biopsies and surgical-decision making. Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy (TRFS) provides a means to rapidly identify necrotic tissue by its distinct autofluorescence signature resulting from tissue breakdown and altered metabolic profiles in regions with radiation damage. Studies conducted in a live animal model of radiation necrosis demonstrated that necrotic tissue is characterized by respective increases of 27% and 108% in average lifetime and redox ratio, when compared with healthy tissue. Moreover, radiation-damaged tissue not visible by MRI but confirmed by histopathology, was detected by TRFS. Current results demonstrate the ability of TRFS to identify radiation-damaged brain tissue in real-time and indicates its potential to assist with surgical guidance and MRI-guided biopsy procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number323491
Pages (from-to)3559-3580
Number of pages22
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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