Microcamera Visualisation System to Overcome Specular Reflections for Tissue Imaging.


In vivo tissue imaging is an essential tool for medical diagnosis, surgical guidance, and treatment. However, specular reflections caused by glossy tissue surfaces can significantly degrade image quality and hinder the accuracy of imaging systems. In this work, we further the miniaturisation of specular reflection reduction techniques using micro cameras, which have the potential to act as intra-operative supportive tools for clinicians. In order to remove these specular reflections, two small form factor camera probes, handheld at 10 mm footprint and miniaturisable to 2.3 mm, are developed using different modalities, with line-of-sight to further miniaturisation. (1) The sample is illuminated via multi-flash technique from four different positions, causing a shift in reflections which are then filtered out in a post-processing image reconstruction step. (2) The cross-polarisation technique integrates orthogonal polarisers onto the tip of the illumination fibres and camera, respectively, to filter out the polarisation maintaining reflections. These form part of a portable imaging system that is capable of rapid image acquisition using different illumination wavelengths, and employs techniques that lend themselves well to further footprint reduction. We demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed system with validating experiments on tissue-mimicking phantoms with high surface reflection, as well as on excised human breast tissue. We show that both methods can provide clear and detailed images of tissue structures along with the effective removal of distortion or artefacts caused by specular reflections. Our results suggest that the proposed system can improve the image quality of miniature in vivo tissue imaging systems and reveal underlying feature information at depth, for both human and machine observers, leading to better diagnosis and treatment outcomes.

More about this publication

  • Volume 14
  • Issue nr. 5
  • Publication date 17-05-2023

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