A Real-Time Intraoperative Fluorescence Imager for Microscopic Residual Tumor

No method currently exists to identify small clusters of 100s or 1000s of cancer cells during cancer surgery. A main limiting factor is the traditional optics used in fluorescence imaging cannot be miniaturized to the size necessary to fit inside a tumor cavity. We have developed an imaging strategy that forgoes external optical elements for focusing light and instead uses angle-selective gratings patterned in the metal interconnect of a standard CMOS process. With the optics miniaturized to the chip-scale, only a 15 μm amorphous silicon optical wavelength filter patterned on the chip is necessary to select the fluorescence emission from the tumor cells and reject the excitation light. The entire sensor has a thickness of less than 1 mm and can be mounted on a flexible apparatus to image the entirety of the tumor bed, ensuring no microscopic disease is left behind after surgery.

Associated Faculty:

  • Bernhard Boser (UC Berkeley)
  • Mekhail Anwar (UCSF)


  • Efthymios Papageorgiou