The 2005-2006 Sontag Foundation Fellowship award recipient, Xueding Wang, Ph.D., developed a new technique using laser technology to provide images of soft tissues such as joints affected by arthritis. He will test the technique (which has already been demonstrated successfully in brain images) in animals, comparing the non-invasive images with physically sectioned tissue to determine the efficacy of the imaging technique.
The objective of this proposed research is to develop a novel, non-ionizing, non-invasive, laser-based technology– photoacoustic tomography (PAT) – to image structural and functional changes in inflammatory joint diseases. PAT can image tissue structures and functional changes with high resolution and may provide a unique opportunity for early diagnosis and monitoring of therapeutic interventions in inflammatory arthritis with high specificity. Although PAT will be tested on animals, the ultimate goal is to develop an imaging technology for human joints. This technique is non-invasive, cost-effective, minimally-dependent on operators, and patient-friendly. PAT has the potential to become a routinely used bedside tool for rheumatologists in the near future.
Dr. Wang is the fifth recipient of The Sontag Foundation Fellowship, an honor bestowed after a second, in-depth review of all ANRF grant recipients by The Sontag Foundation of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. They are committed to supporting research with the maximum potential to benefit those suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. Learn more about The Sontag Foundation’s work at www.sontagfoundation.com.