The LUCA device: a multi-modal platform combining diffuse optics and ultrasound imaging for thyroid cancer screening

Lorenzo Cortese, Giuseppe Lo Presti, Marta Zanoletti, Gloria Aranda, Mauro Buttafava, Davide Contini, Alberto Dalla Mora, Hamid Dehghani, Laura Di Sieno, Sixte de Fraguier, Felicia A Hanzu, Mireia Mora Porta, An Nguyen-Dinh, Marco Renna, Bogdan Rosinski, Mattia Squarcia, Alberto Tosi, Udo M Weigel, Stanislaw Wojtkiewicz, Turgut Durduran

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We present the LUCA device, a multi-modal platform combining eight-wavelength near infrared time resolved spectroscopy, sixteen-channel diffuse correlation spectroscopy and a clinical ultrasound in a single device. By simultaneously measuring the tissue hemodynamics and performing ultrasound imaging, this platform aims to tackle the low specificity and sensitivity of the current thyroid cancer diagnosis techniques, improving the screening of thyroid nodules. Here, we show a detailed description of the device, components and modules. Furthermore, we show the device tests performed through well established protocols for phantom validation, and the performance assessment for in vivo. The characterization tests demonstrate that LUCA device is capable of performing high quality measurements, with a precision in determining in vivo tissue optical and dynamic properties of better than 3%, and a reproducibility of better than 10% after ultrasound-guided probe repositioning, even with low photon count-rates, making it suitable for a wide variety of clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3392-3409
Number of pages18
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number6
Early online date14 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

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