Surgery is becoming increasingly reliant on technology to enhance procedure and increase survival rates, as machines are often able to calculate complexities of the body on a minute scale.
Dr Xie’s research lies at the interface of medicine and biology, as she is working on a non-invasive functional Multispectral Light Field Imaging system (fMLFI) for maximal safe tumour resection. Nearly 6,000 new brain tumour cases are diagnosed every year, and only 18.5% of those patients survive for five years after this. Surgically speaking, tumour removal is the optimal treatment plan, however, it requires intense precision can lead to severe postsurgical cognitive or motor deficits if it goes wrong. Dr Xie recognises that it is vital to be able to monitor the tissue that surgeons are operating on carefully.
As she further explains, “This novel imaging system will possess advantages from both light field technology and hyperspectral imaging, which will be the world-first compact multi-modal (light field, brain mapping and fluorescence imaging) imaging system designated for use in a surgical environment”. There is currently no real-time technology capable of measuring multiple aspects of tissue features simultaneously and so Dr Xie’s work is incredibly exciting. By increasing visibility and effectiveness of brain monitoring, her project could drastically improve the imaging of the brain and make tumour resection surgery far more successful in the future.