THE COMPACT LASER PROTOTYPE HAS BEEN DEVELOPED IN VIEW OF MEDICAL APPLICATIONS FOR THE DIAGNOSIS OF PROSTATE CANCER.
The diagnosis of prostate cancer is today an invasive procedure realized through a protocol of successive biopsies, because of the lack of imaging techniques able to detect tumors in the early stages of cancer. Time-resolved fluorescence measurement is a particularly interesting approach for tumor localization. The principle of this measurement consists of injecting the patient with a near-infrared fluorescent tracer which will accumulate in a privileged way in the tumors, and then locating this tracer by means of an optical probe connected to a pulsed laser. The coupling between this pulsed laser and a chain of time-of-flight measurements makes it possible to excite the fluorescent tracer and to precisely locate it deep in the tissue.
Benefiting from the support of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, promoted by CEA Tech and implemented with the University Hospital of Bordeaux and the IMOTION laboratory (University of Bordeaux), this solution allows to precisely address the biopsy locations. Nevertheless, it requires two complementary steps:
on one hand the availability of fluorescent markers of the prostate, injectable to humans (indocyanine green …)
on the other hand the integration of a bi-modal ultrasound and laser acquisition system for its implementation in a clinical environment. This last point involves in particular the development of a compact pulsed laser that meets both the specifications of the fluorescence measurement and the current medical standards and legislation.
As part of this project, ALPhANOV has developed a compact laser prototype that perfectly meets this specific need and delivers picosecond pulses at 780 nm at repetition rate of 80 MHz, by using a technological brick matured by the Gironde start-up Irisiome Solutions.