Tissue Fluorescence Visualization
Traditional oral mucosal examination tools rely on reflected light to visualize the oral cavity. VELscope® Vx uses tissue fluorescence rather than reflectance.The basic premise of tissue fluorescence visualization is that it may enable clinicians to see the effects of cellular, structural, and/or metabolic activity changes in oral mucosal tissues by observing the fluorescence response of oral tissues in response to light excitation. Natural tissue fluorescence is caused by "fluorophores". When fluorophores are excited by light of an appropriate wavelength (for example, blue), they emit their own light at a longer wavelength (for example, green). Abnormal fluorescence patterns aid the clinician in visualizing unhealthy mucosal tissue that sometimes cannot be seen with the naked eye, including any tissue undergoing a change (which can occur in the oral mucosa for a multitude of reasons) such as premalignant dysplasia or oral cancer. Visit the Downloads Center to obtain additional information about VELscope® Vx technology. To find a dentist who uses VELscope® Vx visit the Find a Practice page.
How Does It Work?The VELscope ®Vx Handpiece emits a safe, visible blue light into the oral cavity, which excites the oral tissue and causes it to fluoresce. The oral cavity can then be examined in real time, enhancing the practitioner’s ability to visualize suspicious tissue that may require further investigation.
Abnormal fluorescence patterns aid the clinician in seeing unhealthy mucosal tissue that sometimes cannot be visualized with the naked eye. Such patterns may arise from a variety of causes, including:
- An increase in metabolic activity in the epithelium
- A breakdown of the fluorescent collagen cross-links in the connective tissue layer beneath the basement membrane
- An increase in tissue blood content, either from inflammation or angiogenesis (hemoglobin strongly absorbs fluorescence excitation [blue] and emission light [green])
- The presence of pigments (e.g., melanin or amalgam particles) which absorb light
Principles of Operation
The VELscope® Vx handpiece works in three ways to help the clinician identify oral mucosal abnormalities.
- Induces natural tissue fluorescence by illuminating the oral cavity with a bright blue light.
- Filters out reflected light, allowing the clinician to visualize the tissue fluorescence.
- Applies proprietary optical filtering technology to enhance fluorescence visualization.
A number of promising opportunities have been idenfified to leverage the proprietary, patented fluorescence tissue visualization technology platform into visualization applications outside of the oral cavity and into other areas of medicine. The company actively engages in research partnerships that explore the potential of its fluorescence visualization technology.
Expanding LED Medical Diagnostics Inc.'s proprietary visualization technology into other areas of medicine could provide gynecologists, gastroenterologists, ear nose and throat specialists, dermatologists and family practitioners with cost-effective tools to aid in the visualization and/or delineation of tissue and mucosal abnormalities, including precancer and cancer.