CORDIS - EU research results

Development of a prototype clinical photoacoustic scanner for use in plastic and reconstructive surgery

Project description

A novel diagnostic imaging system will help ensure transplanted tissue is flourishing

Biomedical photoacoustic imaging, also known as optoacoustic imaging, is a relatively new modality gaining increasing interest over the last decade. It combines the high-contrast specificity of optical imaging with the high spatial resolution of ultrasound imaging. In addition, it has greater depth penetration than conventional optical imaging technologies. It can not only visualise microvasculature and haemoglobin structures, but it can also provide functional information on blood oxygenation, blood flow, and temperature. PHOTOPARS is harnessing its potential in a prototype clinical imaging system to evaluate vascularisation of tissue transplants in procedures such as breast reconstruction or burn treatment. Expect improvements in tissue viability, wound healing, and avoidance of infection.


Plastic and reconstructive surgical procedures provide a means of reconstructing tissues following damage due to cancer, trauma, burns and infections. An important example is flap surgery which involves transferring skin and the underlying tissues from one part of the body to another; for example, in the DIEP flap breast reconstruction procedure, skin and tissue from the abdomen is removed and implanted in the breast. For a successful repair, it is essential that the transplanted tissue develops an adequate blood supply. Failure to do so results in tissue death (necrosis) which can lead to complications such as infection, delayed wound healing and disfigurement due to scarring with attendant psychological trauma. This proposal seeks to address this by developing and constructing a prototype clinical imaging instrument based on a novel photoacoustic technology which can provide highly detailed three-dimensional maps of blood vessels. This technology offers the prospect of reducing the number of complications and the need for repeat procedures with consequent benefits in terms of reduced patient trauma and lower healthcare provider costs.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
WC1E 6BT London
United Kingdom

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London Inner London — West Camden and City of London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (1)