Nano-optic endoscope sees deep into tissue at high resolution
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IMAGE: This is a scanning electron micrograph image of a portion of a fabricated metalens. view more 

Credit: Harvard SEAS

The diagnosis of diseases based in internal organs often relies on biopsy samples collected from affected regions. But collecting such samples is highly error-prone due to the inability of current endoscopic imaging techniques to accurately visualize sites of disease. The conventional optical elements in catheters used to access hard-to-reach areas of the body, such as the gastrointestinal tract and pulmonary airways, are prone to aberrations that obstruct the full capabilities of optical imaging.

Now, experts in endoscopic imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and pioneers of flat metalens technology at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), have teamed up to develop a new class of endoscopic imaging catheters – termed nano-optic endoscopes – that overcome the limitations of current systems.

The research is described in Nature Photonics.

“Clinical adoption of many cutting-edge endoscopic microscopy modalities has been hampered due to the difficulty of designing miniature catheters that achieve the same image quality as bulky desktop microscopes,” said Melissa Suter, an assistant professor of Medicine at MGH and Harvard Medical School (HMS) and co-senior

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