Date of Award

12-2022

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Silas Leavesley, Ph.D.

Abstract

Early-stage colorectal lesions remain difficult to detect. Early development of neoplasia tends to be small (less than 10 mm) and flat and difficult to distinguish from surrounding mucosa. Additionally, optical diagnosis of neoplasia as benign or malignant is problematic. Low rates of detection of these lesions allow for continued growth in the colorectum and increased risk of cancer formation. Therefore, it is crucial to detect neoplasia and other non-neoplastic lesions to determine risk and guide future treatment. Technology for detection needs to enhance contrast of subtle tissue differences in the colorectum and track multiple biomarkers simultaneously. This work implements one such technology with the potential to achieve the desired multi-contrast outcome for endoscopic screenings: hyperspectral imaging. Traditional endoscopic imaging uses a white light source and a RGB detector to visualize the colorectum using reflected light. Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) acquires an image over a range of individual wavelength bands to create an image hypercube with a wavelength dimension much deeper and more sensitive than that of an RGB image. A hypercube can consist of reflectance or fluorescence (or both) spectra depending on the filtering optics involved. Prior studies using HSI in endoscopy have normally involved ex vivo tissues or xiv optics that created a trade-off between spatial resolution, spectral discrimination and temporal sampling. This dissertation describes the systems design of an alternative HSI endoscopic imaging technology that can provide high spatial resolution, high spectral distinction and video-rate acquisition in vivo. The hyperspectral endoscopic system consists of a novel spectral illumination source for image acquisition dependent on the fluorescence excitation (instead of emission). Therefore, this work represents a novel contribution to the field of endoscopy in combining excitation-scanning hyperspectral imaging and endoscopy. This dissertation describes: 1) systems architecture of the endoscopic system in review of previous iterations and theoretical next-generation options, 2) feasibility testing of a LED-based hyperspectral endoscope system and 3) another LED-based spectral illuminator on a microscope platform to test multi-spectral contrast imaging. The results of the architecture point towards an endoscopic system with more complex imaging and increased computational capabilities. The hyperspectral endoscope platform proved feasibility of a LED-based spectral light source with a multi-furcated solid light guide. Another LED-based design was tested successfully on a microscope platform with a dual mirror array similar to telescope designs. Both feasibility tests emphasized optimization of coupling optics and combining multiple diffuse light sources to a common output. These results should lead to enhanced imagery for endoscopic tissue discrimination and future optical diagnosis for routine colonoscopy.

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