Smartphone Microendoscopy for Cervical Cancer Screening

Cervical cancer affects the lives of over 528,000 women worldwide and results in more than 266,000 deaths each year, the majority of which (85%) occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Pap test screening that significantly reduces the mortality rate in developed countries is difficult to implement in LMICs due to limited funding, lack of access to pathology and inadequately trained medical professionals. Visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) is a low-cost solution commonly used in LMICs for cervical cancer screening, but its low specificity results in many unnecessary follow-up treatments.

We have developed a portable, affordable, and globally connected solution (Fig. 2, left) to improve the accuracy and efficiency for cervical cancer screening in LMICs. The key device is a smartphone microendoscope (named SmartME), as shown in Fig. 2, right). It integrates quantitative diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) and high-resolution fluorescence imaging (FLI) into a smartphone platform. The FLI module allows the determination of the nuclear-cytoplasmic ratio (N/C) of epithelial tissues. The DRS can measure the total hemoglobin concentration (THC) and scattering properties of epithelial tissues. Our preliminary results demonstrated that the SmartME can noninvasively quantify the tissue parameters of normal human mucosal tissues, and the device is currently undergoing a clinical study to determine its sensitivity and specificity for cervical cancer screening.

Smartphone Microendoscope

Fig 2:  SmartME:  (left) conceptual schematic of the SmartME-based solution for cervical cancer screening in LMICs and (right) screenshot of the SmartME device with a normal tissue.  


Selected Publications

X Hong, VK Nagarajan, DH Mugler and B Yu, "Smartphone microendoscopy for high-resolution fluorescence imaging," Journal of Innovative Optical Health Sciences, Vol. 09, No. 05, 2016

P Edwards, C Zhang, B Zhang, X Hong, VK Nagarajan, B Yu, Z Liu, "Smartphone-based optical spectrometer for diffusive reflectance spectroscopic measurement of hemoglobin," Scientific reports 7 (1), 12224, 2017.


Please note, the PI of this project has significant financial interest in the sponsor of the project, Smart Biophotonics, LLC.