AUA 2019: Molecular Chemical Imaging Endoscope, an Innovative Imaging Modality for Enhancing the Surgeon’s View During Laparoscopic Procedures

Chicago, IL ( New imaging modalities are constantly being innovated and created to optimize how organs are seen. Researchers strive to enhance imaging in a way that yields high efficacy and avoids improper diagnosis and identification. Dr. Arash Samiel opened his presentation by emphasizing the difficulties of successfully identifying anatomical structures in surgery.

In efforts to mitigate this issue, Dr. Samiel and his co-authors developed a machine to enhance imaging, called molecular chemical imaging endoscope (MCI-E). The new imaging modality works on the basis that different tissues have a unique sensitivity to light. In combination with molecular spectroscopy, digital imaging, and machine learning, Samiel and his team aimed to innovate digital imaging in order to test its ability to aid surgeons in view and identification under in-vivo conditions.

The MCI-E was tested from the use of 3 porcine models and examined numerous tissue samples, including the neuro-vascular bundles, lymph nodes, arteries, veins, bowel, and bile duct. The tissue was exposed to normal white light, and the MCI-E emulated the reflected light, providing more information than what can be seen from the naked eye through different lenses and filters. With the process of machine learning, the system was trained to detect multiple components in one image through different colors

Samiel found that the MCI-E was able to detect and distinguish between multiple tissues within 1-2 minutes. For instance, the chemical components of an ischemic bowel are different from a normal bowel and can be identified in early stages, within a 1-2 minutes conclusion. The MCI-E was also able to detect a gallstone 1-2 centimeters deep inside the biliary system, which is oftentimes difficult to identify with the surrounding fat component.

He ended his presentation by confirming that the MCI-E’s unique capabilities allow it to successfully achieve real time detection of tissues with high accuracies. This new imaging modality would be beneficial in in-vivo surgical space, and help surgeons in efficiently identifying tissue beyond the naked eye, while avoiding incorrectly identifying tissue and iatrogenic injuries.

Presented by: Arash Samiei, MD, Allegheny Health Network, Division of Urology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Written by: Aleesa Chavez, (Department of Urology, University of California, Irvine) medical writer for at the American Urological Association's 2019 Annual Meeting (AUA 2019), May 3 – 6, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois