Penn Surgery

Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratory

Intraoperative Molecular Imaging

Our laboratory is developing the next generation of intra-operative imaging techniques. We are aggressively pursuing multiple techniques and approaches to Intraoperative Imaging in the hopes of giving patients more complete resections of primary, micrometastatic, and lymphatic disease while minimizing unnecessary tissue reductions and shortening hospital stays. As part of the bench-to bedside-to bench approach, we are heavily invested in both human and animal studies to optimize our procedures.

Currently, our focus in intraoperative imaging is two-fold. Through our clinical arm, patients will be enrolled in our clinical trial in the hopes of identifying local and distal metastases with the use of our collaborator’s newly developed software, imaging system and commonly administered non-radioactive isotopes. Through the excitation of molecules in non-toxic chemicals, the malignancies previously undetectable to the surgeon in the operating room, will no longer pose a threat to patient health.

Secondly, our mouse modeling systems are examining multiple modalities of nanotechnology and small molecules, utilizing reagents at the forefront of surgical imaging technology. Specifically, we are developing and testing new near-infrared and visible contrast agents that can target tumors and allow them to fluoresce in the operating room.