Molecular imaging particularly optical imaging is starting to get recognition in the field of Image guided surgery. This form of Interoperative florescence imaging will minimize errors during surgery, protecting vital tissues such as nerves from inadvertent damage during surgery.
Dr. Rao Papineni an Indian origin scientist from Carestream Health Inc, USA has teamed with few groups at Baylor College of Medicine, in identifying a near-IR fluorescence bound plant lectin to be a candidate as a surgical nerve contrast molecular probe. This particular lectin is originally isolated from wheat. Other investigators in this work include Dr. Steen Pedersen and Dr. Pautler of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston and Dr. Daniel Kim, a Neurosurgeon at University of Texas. Dr. Scott Wellnitz, a Post-doc had meticulously screened several of these sugar binding plant lectins from lentils, legumes, and cereals during the process of identification.
Dr. Papineni will be reporting the findings at the World Molecular Imaging Congress, WMIC 2012, on Sep-8 2012 at Ireland, he indicated that stringent assessment such as toxicity issues and other side-effects are needed, before such a spray can be used by surgeons in clinics to distinguish the nerve endings while making a surgical procedure. These optical-image guided surgical techniques will ensure best outcome for the patients through protection of vital organs.