Thursday, April 2, 2015

OSA Illumination Lecture Series - Ronnie Das

3D pathology to enhance pancreatic cancer diagnosis

Thursday April 9th 5:00 pm
EEB 045
Refreshments provided

Ronnie Das
Research Scientist/Co-Investigator
Human Photonics Laboratory
Mechanical Engineering

In the US, pancreatic cancer is the most lethal across all cancers. This is due to the fact that what causes pancre-atic cancer and how it exactly presents in the body is still by expert accounts relatively unknown. For a traditional diagnosis, biopsies are procured from patients, processed in pathology and observed on glass slides (i.e., in 2D) using simple brightfield microscopy. So what happens when a 3D microscope becomes available? For comparison, computed tomography (CT) brought X-ray imaging into 3D in the mid-1970s and over the last 30 years spun-off many ancillary, but important developments for radiology & clinical medicine. To this end, our research aim is to directly aid pathologists in the early detection of pancreatic cancer by using brightfield 3D microscopy to rapidly and nondestructively image whole, intact tissue biopsies that are directly procured from patients. 3D visualization & reconstruction of biopsies (prior to pathology) may provide a fundamental gain of information (3D morphology, tissue architecture, spatial distribution of cancer cells, etc.) that best represents the in vivo disease state. This information is otherwise inherently lost through tissue sectioning and traditional pathology. Additionally, this vital optical information may be provided to clinicians with little to no cost in time, effort, or the patient sample, which may permit our 3D microscope to be seamlessly integrated within the current pathology workflow and paradigm.

Ronnie joined HPL in 2012 after receiving his PhD in bioengineering from the University of Washington. Currently, his research ob-jective is to aid pathologists in the early detection & diagnosis of pancreatic cancer by directly applying 3D imaging (OPTM) and mi-crofluidic technology to core biopsies (CBs) obtained from patients. Project aims include 1) 3D optical imaging of pancreatic CBs, 2) 3D reconstruction and image processing, 3) exploratory research of whole tissue staining & histopathology, 3) millifluidics device development and 5) novel instrumentation. The project is interdisciplinary and a collaborative venture between mechanical and bioengineering, UW pathology and private industry (VisionGate, Inc.; Nortis, Inc.).