A combined confocal imaging and raman spectroscopy microscope for in vivo skin cancer diagnosis

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Engineering


Confocal microscopy has provided a useful tool for imaging biopsied tissue samples. The cross sectioning ability inherent in confocal microscopes provides a method for viewing of cellular structure at different layers of a histology sample, allowing for optical cross sectioning and viewing structures below the surface of the sample. As a cancer diagnosis technique, confocal microscopy has been shown to provide valuable information showing differences in cell morphology of malignant and benign regions. Raman spectroscopy has also been shown to be a useful tool for cancer diagnosis in skin tissues due to its ability to distinguish different types of chemical bonds. While both of these methods may be used for cancer detection, current devices are limited to ex vivo samples. The goal of this project was to design and build a hand held microscope which could be used for in vivo confocal imaging and Raman spectroscopy of suspected malignant lesions in skin. This thesis describes the optical, mechanical and electrical design and fabrication of the microscope, as well as performance testing and initial in vivo skin data collected with the microscope. It is our hope that this instrument will be used to gather important in vivo skin cancer data and spur future developments in small diagnosis tools that can be used in a clinical setting.




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