Thermography measures the electromagnetic radiations emitted by a warm object which temperature is above absolute zero. These invisible radiations for the eyes are converted by the sensors in the infrared camera into images, whose pixel intensities are proportional to the measured temperatures. This imaging modality is non-invasive, contactless and easy to use. The field of applications of thermography in the medical area is bright: monitoring of vascular and rheumatic disorders, detection of breast cancer or study of tissue vascularization. Since the acquisition of images requires no contact with the patient, this technique is optimal for an intraoperative use.
Nowadays, a large set of infrared cameras are available on the market, but not any model is optimal for the operating room. Our requirements are: a good optical and thermal resolution, the detection of minimal temperature differences, the compatibility of the system with the surgical environment (volume of the device, mobility, facility of use). Moreover, the acquisition, visualization and analysis of the thermograms (or infrared images) are performed by software providing general and basic methods. More sophisticated tools need to be developed for the interpretation of the thermograms, especially in the case of dynamic thermography.
Therefore, the development of a new DIRTH-system (Dynamic InfraRed THermography imaging system) should facilitate the use of thermography in the operating room and improve the interpretation and analysis of thermograms.
Goal of this project is the development of an optimal infrared thermography imaging system suitable for the operating room. The system has to be light, compact and transportable, so that it takes little place in the operating room and can be easily moved from place to place. Tools for an optimal visualization of the image data and an optimal analysis of static and dynamic thermography are implemented. The evaluation of the DIRTH-system and its functions is performed with our clinical partners of the Leipzig University Hospital in the operating room on selected applications in the area of plastic surgery.
•Development of a new compact and transportable system for dynamic thermography for intraoperative use
•Development of new functions for the analysis of dynamic thermography
•Evaluation in the operating room in the area of plastic surgery