Vanderbilt researchers have developed the first sensor capable of objectively identifying inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and distinguishing between its two subtypes. The device represents a substantial achievement toward a more personalized approach to diagnosing and treating IBD, a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract affecting more than 1 million Americans.
Current diagnostic and treatment procedures for IBD are inexact and rely largely on trial-and-error. In The Optical Society’s journal Biomedical Optics Express, researchers report on a pilot study of a custom-developed endoscope that uses the chemical-fingerprinting technique Raman spectroscopy to detect molecular markers of IBD in the colon, as featured Jan. 4, 2017 by Phys.Org.
The sensor is designed as a minimally-invasive probe that can be easily integrated into a routine colonoscopy exam. After further refining, the researchers say doctors could use the device to help diagnose IBD and evaluate a patient’s response to treatment.
“With current methods, ultimately the diagnosis is dependent on how the patient responds to therapy over time, and you often don’t know the diagnosis until it’s been a few years,” said senior author of the paper, Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, Orrin H. Ingram Professor of Biomedical Engineering and director of the Biophotonics Center at Vanderbilt University. “That’s why we decided to use a light-based method to probe the biochemistry of what’s going on in the colon. Our goal is to use Raman spectroscopy to look at the actual inflammatory signals.”...
Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, Orrin H. Ingram Professor of Biomedical Engineering, has been elected chair of the Gordon Research Conference in Lasers in Medicine and Biology. For more than 75 years, the Gordon Conferences have been recognized as some of the world’s premier scientific conferences, where leading investigators from around the world discuss their latest work in an informal setting.
Mahadevan-Jansen currently directs the Biomedical Photonics Laboratory at Vanderbilt, where she develops techniques that use light to monitor and affect tissue function and disease state. Beginning in 2016, she will serve a two-year term alongside co-chair Paul French of King’s College in London. She is the second woman to be elected chair in the history of the Lasers in Medicine & Biology conference.
With more than 24 years of experience, Mahadevan-Jansen is a prominent leader in the field of biomedical photonics. Her involvement in the organization of large international conferences such as SPIE, the international society for optics and phonics, and the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting has prepared her for this position.
The Gordon Research Conferences were started in 1931 to learn about frontier scientific problems. The unique conference format was born out of founder Neil Gordon’s belief that formal presentations paired with informal discussions fostered scientific innovation. In contrast to traditional scientific meetings, the Gordon conferences maintain an off-the-record policy that creates risk-free opportunities to present unpublished work. Limited attendance at each conference is designed to encourage active discussion, open exchange of ideas, and development of friendships. The conferences are set in remote locations with ample free time each afternoon for recreation and casual networking....