Digital Light Innovations Graphic: Digital Light Hyperspectral Imaging


Digital Light Hyperspectral Imaging

Hyperspectral imaging is a technology that evolved from the dark world of military satellites and cloaked secrecy of reconnaissance technology. Dr. Karel Zuzak, inventor of the Digital Light Hyperspectral Imaging System, has augmented this technology for surgical & medical applications.

Hyperspectral imaging is based upon chemistry and physics.  The human body is made up of organs that are made of tissue defined by its chemical structure, which acts like pigments in paint.  Illuminating the tissue, some of the light is scattered, absorbed, and the remainder is reflected back, determining the colors we see, and detected by imaging sensors as spectra.  Measuring the spectrum of the reflected light, the system can be programmed to identify and classify the biochemical composition of the tissue and hence evaluate the patient’s medical condition.

Defining hyperspectral imaging as the process of collecting and utilizing multiple spectra, composed of multiple wavelengths, to determine the chemical nature within human tissue.  The Digital Light Hyperspectral Imaging system , or DLHsi®, uses an active complex illumination method invented by Dr. Karel Zuzak.  DLHsi® is a platform technology applicable to a wide array of surgical & medical utilities resulting in highly-relevant, real-time, video rate mapping and visualization of a patient’s condition all while being performed remotely and without touching the patient.

At the heart of DLHsi® technology is Digital Light Processing via Digital Micromirror Devices (DMD).  A DMD is an optical semiconductor and digital imaging chip that enables users to steer and control light when paired with optics & light sources.  DLP® technology has the unique ability to conform light to any desired spectral illumination scheme, making it the ideal technology platform for hyperspectral imaging applications such as DLHsi®.

After several years of using DLHsi® technology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, multiple clinicians report the real-time, video rate chemical imaging and versatility of DLHsi® technology makes it practical for a wide variety of surgical and clinical applications and helps surgeons and physicians “see better”.  The value of DLHsi® technology is in reducing the risk for complications and associated financial liability to the hospital.

Potential applications include but are not limited to general surgery, plastic surgery, laparoscopic and robotic surgery, wound management and debridement.  During plastic surgery, DLHsi® helps the surgeon evaluate skin flaps and mastectomy skin for reducing the risk of a post operative necrosis.  During Laparoscopic surgery, DLHsi® maps the location of anteriority placed anatomical structures, which, if miss-identified or cut accidentally results in major trauma and even death.  The resulting video rate chemically encoded images can potentially differentiate blood vessels feeding a tumor from those perfusing the organ.

In other medical utilities, DLHsi® technology helps the clinician evaluate wounds and recommend where and when to apply negative pressure wound therapy.  DLHsi® technology guides the surgeon in excising dead, contaminated tissue and highlights foreign matter from a wound not visible to the unaided eye.

DLHsi® technology can also be applied to a wide array of other Life Sciences & Biomedical applications such as threat detection (pathogens and toxic agents) and food safety.