Hokkaido University Research Profiles

Life Sciences

Coherent Raman Scattering Endoscope

Development of an eye for a novel endoscopic surgical support robot using coherent Raman scattering for label-free nerve visualization

Raman scattering provides insight into molecular species and structures without staining, but its use has been limited due to its extremely weak scattering. We are developing microscopes and endoscopes that provide Raman images in real-time by using coherent Raman scattering phenomena with ultrafast lasers.

Content of research

Raman scattering has been used in chemical analysis, physical chemistry, and semiconductor research because it provides information on molecular species and structures without staining. It is also recently actively applied to the biological and medical fields. However, Raman scattering is very weak. We have developed a multifocal coherent Raman scattering microscope with integrated a wavelength-tunable synchronous picosecond laser and realized imaging at 100 frame/s, which is faster than the video rate. We also demonstrated that nerves are visualized without staining and at high speed under a rigid endoscope of 12 mm in diameter and 550 mm in length. It is expected to be a new imaging tool for nerve-sparing endoscopic surgery.

  • Coherent Raman scattering rigid endoscope

  • Coherent Raman scattering image of rat sciatic nerve (scale bar: 100 μm)

Potential for social implementation

  • ・Label-free in vivo imaging
  • ・Nerve-sparing endoscopic surgery
  • ・Rapid diagnosis of biopsy samples

Appealing points to industry and local governments

If biomolecules can be fractionated and visualized without staining and at high speed, it will lead to unprecedented examination and diagnostic methods. We would like to take the challenge of developing new imaging methods by making full use of ultrafast laser technology, optical technology, and spectroscopy.

Intellectual property related to this research

特許 第5831901号 「誘導ラマン散乱顕微鏡」
特許 第5926055号 「波長走査パルス光同期システムおよびその制御方法」
特願2014-254326 「変調光検出のSN比を向上する方法」