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Bioimaging Research and Innovation for Translational Engineering Laboratory (BRITElab) focusses on the development and translation of novel imaging techniques to a range of clinical and biological applications.
A particular technique being developed in BRITElab is optical elastography: an imaging technique that provides a map of the mechanical properties of tissue. It involves three main steps: applying a mechanical load to a tissue; measuring the resulting deformation using optical imaging; and using algorithms to estimate a mechanical property from the measured deformation.
As the mechanical properties of tissue are invariably altered by disease, optical elastography has broad applications in areas such as vascular biology, tumour biology, physiology and cancer imaging.
The team is very actively developing optical elastography for tumour margin assessment in breast-conserving surgery. The goal of this project is to provide the surgeon with a tool allowing them to more effectively remove tumour during surgery. If successful, this could lead to a reduction in the amount of patients, currently 20-30%, that require additional surgery.