Tech paper - INTRODUCTION Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer...

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I NTRODUCTION Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center maintains the highest level of patient care since our establishment in 1884. As one of the nation’s premier biomedical research centers, I believe it is our duty to always be on the cutting edge of any technology that will better the lives of our patients. As a student in the Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program under Dr. Jan Grimm, my duty is to present these new technologies to those that may benefit. I am currently researching Photoacoustic Imaging, a technology utilized by many researchers around the globe. Expanding the research of Photoacoustic Imaging coincides with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s mission to be “committed to exceptional patient care, leading-edge research, and superb educational programs.” I believe the Cancer Biology and Genetics Research Program should explore the realm of Photoacoustic Imaging as well. This paper assesses the technology in Photoacoustic Imaging (PAI) and the applicability to the Cancer Biology and Genetics Research Program. It also proposes the immediate involvement of Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in developing a commercial Photoacoustic Imaging system for use in our research institutes and hospitals. Theory: The Photoacoustic Effect The photoacoustic effect was discovered by Alexander Graham Bell late in the 19 th century and is the main principle involved in PAI. This effect is centered on converting light and sound waves. Light waves pulsed through matter are absorbed and result in energy in the form of heat. The heat causes the matter to vibrate and emit sound waves. Bell invented the photophone, which utilizes the photoacoustic effect, to communicate wirelessly. This invention relied on the reflection of sunlight into the right wavelength to carry a vocal signal and was indeed the “the world’s first wireless audio transmission” [1]. He also developed the spectroscope to listen to the sound waves emitted when light was applied to objects. The following figure and 4-step explanation from Benjamin Spike can help in understanding the photoacoustic effect, “First, pulsed light that is incident on a sample is absorbed (a) and the constituent molecules become thermally excited (b). Periodic heat flow from the sample to the surrounding gas causes pressure waves (c) that are in turn detected by an acoustic sensor (d). The pressure waves are characteristic of the sample and are used to determine composition, concentration, and other thermophysical properties.” Figure 1: The Photoacoustic Effect (a) (b) (c) (d) The photoacoustic effect, discovered by Bell, is at the core of photoacoustic imaging. Transforming Theory into Photoacoustic Imaging
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A great deal of enthusiasm surrounded the concepts and equipment Bell developed; however, this could not be explored in depth with the limited technologies available in the late 19 th century.
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