Title: FLIM-guided robotic surgery

Abstract: This presentation overviews a clinically-compatible label-free multispectral fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) technique developed in our laboratory and its applications in surgical oncology. Emphasis is placed on the integration of FLIM in surgical robotics and the potential of this approach to improve surgical decision-making during trans-oral robotic surgery (TORS). We demonstrate the straightforward coupling of FLIM apparatus with the da Vinci surgical platform and innovative methods for real-time dynamic augmentation of imaging parameters on the surgical field of view as seen on the da Vinci console. Current results demonstrate the utility of FLIM-derived parameters detecting tissue biochemical and metabolic characteristics to distinguish oral and oropharyngeal cancer in real-time from surrounding normal tissue in patients in-situ during TORS. Current findings suggest that label-free FLIm-based tissue assessment, characterized by simple, fast and flexible data acquisition and display, could find applications in a variety of robotic procedures.

Biography: Dr. Laura Marcu is Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Neurological Surgery at the University of California at Davis. She received her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering in 1998 from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Her research interest is in the area of biomedical optics, with a particular focus on research for the development of optical techniques for tissue diagnostics including applications in oncology, interventional cardiology, and tissue engineering. Since 2007 she has served as co-director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center – Biomedical Technology Program, at the UC Davis Medical Center. She authored over 200 articles (120 peer-reviewed). Currently, she serves as a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Biophotonics and the Translational Biophotonics, and was the Associate Editor for Biomedical Optics Express. She is a Fellow of AAAS, AIMBE, BMES, OSA, SPIE, and NAI.