Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Degree Level



Biomedical Engineering


Muldoon, Timothy J.


Knowledge of colorectal cancer biology is improving how we approach cancer treatment. Specifically, the tumor microenvironment and abnormal angiogenesis are of particular interest. Optical methods are a prime candidate for research of the tumor microenvironment due to their ability to quantitively assess tissue structure and perfusion in real time. Particularly, the “transport scattering regime” has been identified as a method of obtaining high-resolution images and reflectance spectroscopy data; this light scattering regime has been demonstrated compatible with endoscopic imaging systems. In this study, a proof-of-concept optical imaging system is presented, capable of resolving absorbers within scattering turbid media using a custom designed microendoscopic probe with multiple illumination fibers. This ability is validated through imaging of absorbers submerged in liquid polystyrene bead phantoms at a known distances from the probe tip. These resulting images are analyzed for deviation in light intensity from a homogeneous case, which provides a quantitative way to identify absorbers in scattering media. Future work will incorporate Monte Carlo simulations of photon propagation through scattering media to predict the depth and location of absorbers, providing the ability to create a 3D “map” of the tissue microenvironment and tumor area of interest. Overall, this study represents a step in the right direction for patient-tailored therapies and treatments based on specific changes of the tumor microenvironment in colorectal cancerous tumors.


Cancer, spectroscopy, endoscopic imaging system, tumors, optical methods