Versicolour is our multi-colour imaging device, which, when combined with the Panoptes fibre bundle, will allow clinicians to see bacteria, inflammation and scarring in the lungs in real-time. Previously, it has only been possible to image in two colours. However, in 2015 Versicolour demonstrated a world-first of using thee-colour imaging to look inside a patient’s lungs at their bedside, using commercially available and affordable components.
The imaging is done via endoscopy, using our bespoke, medically-approved optical fibre that is fed through a traditional bronchoscope at one end and attached to the Versicolour device at the other. This is beneficial for clinicians as it is a non-invasive procedure common to many fields of medicine, which can relay important information for investigation of symptoms or confirmation of diagnosis. Light emitted from multiple LEDs is focused and combined into a singular beam before being sent through a mini microscope element within the fibre to the area of interest within the lung that has been sprayed with our ‘SmartProbe’ fluorophores. The reflected light is sent back through the microscope element and focused onto a camera with a fast CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) sensor.
Versicolour has undergone multiple tests in a pre-clinical setting on ex vivo animal lungs and has repeatedly performed well in challenging experiments. We have demonstrated the effectiveness of the instrument by simultaneously imaging neutrophils (white blood cells that form the first line of defence against infection and inflammation), macrophages (white blood cells that consume invading pathogens and cell debris) and fungus in ex vivo human lung tissue, with excellent results.