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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X013898/1
Title: Endobronchial Imaging With Optical Ultrasound
Principal Investigator: Desjardins, Dr A
Other Investigators:
Alles, Dr EJ Navani, Dr N Thakrar, Dr R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr RJ Colchester
Project Partners:
Intuitive Surgical Inc
Department: Medical Physics and Biomedical Eng
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2023 Ends: 31 December 2024 Value (£): 717,032
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip. Medical Imaging
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
27 Sep 2022 Healthcare Technologies Investigator Led Panel Sept 2022 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This proposal is centred on the development of a novel technology platform comprising interventional imaging probes to guide endoscopic lung biopsies. These probes comprise novel, highly miniaturised pulse-echo optical ultrasound (US) sensors developed for optically transmitting and receiving US. Integrated within a robotic bronchoscopy system, the imaging probes will provide real-time B-mode (2D) images to accurately identify deep lung nodules and provide real-time guidance of biopsy needles. This Healthcare Technologies Investigator-Led project comprises an ambitious plan to significantly advance all-optical ultrasound along the clinical translational path by exploring its use in robotic-guided endobronchial ultrasound imaging.

All-optical pulse-echo ultrasound imaging is an emerging technology platform for guiding minimally invasive procedures. Fibre optic optical ultrasound (OpUS) transducers comprise distinct mechanisms for generating and receiving ultrasound. Optical generation of US is performed via the photoacoustic effect, in which modulated incident light is provided to a highly absorbing material and the resulting thermal energy deposition leads to a transmitted US wave.

The advantages of OpUS and the promising proof-of-concept data obtained with tissue imaging in recent studies, offer a major opportunity to develop novel probes that are used clinically for robotic bronchoscopy. The high level of miniaturisation to reach distal regions of the lung, and the novelty of integrating OpUS with needle biopsies and robotic navigation, offer the prospects of effecting significant improvements to clinical practice and achieving high performance with low-cost components, for rapid clinical uptake and patient benefits.
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