WESTFORD, Mass., Oct. 19 -- LightLab Imaging L.L.C. began a first round of human studies of its optical biopsy forceps and the latest generation of its optical coherence tomography (OCT) ultra high-resolution imaging platform. The study, being conducted at Duke University, is focused on detecting precancerous tissues in patients diagnosed with "Barrett's esophagus," and directing the associated tissue biopsies.
Barrett's esophagus is a condition associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease, when the normal tissue of the esophagus is replaced over time by tissues more similar to those lining the stomach or small intestine. Barrett's esophagus is easily seen by endoscopy, but a diagnosis of cancer and tissue changes that are precursors of cancer can at present be made only through biopsies and subsequent histological review under a microscope. Under the current biopsy protocol, four samples of the Barrett's segment of the esophagus are taken at random every 2 centimeters. The LightLab OCT platform uses advanced photonics and signal processing techniques to allow microscopic imaging inside the body. The LightLab optical biopsy forceps uses a single fiber optic strand .006" in diameter to obtain images of the Barrett's segment at resolutions much higher than any conventional imaging technology.