Rohit Bhargava's research is focused on developing chemical imaging methods for medical and research applications. His truly innovative work is leading to new imaging techniques that provide for better diagnosis of human cancers.
Bhargava's work contributes a chemical information component to the field of bioimaging. By developing these methods, Bhargava says that researchers and technicians are able to look at how both structure and chemistry change over time when they evaluate an image.
While the original chemical imaging methods were created elsewhere, Bhargava's work has taken the technology to a new level, creating techniques that allow imaging in a matter of seconds as opposed to older methods requiring several days. Bhargava said the method is valuable for evaluating the technology for diagnosing cancer, for use as an analytical tool for tissue engineering, and for studying fundamental scientific problems.
One facet of Bhargava's research seeks to create an automated method for determining whether certain kinds of prostate cells have the potential to cause life-threatening cancer. Current methods provide, at best, a correct diagnosis one-half of the time for the more than 200,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Creating an automated technology with chemical imaging techniques could provide more accurate diagnoses for prostate cancer, and prevent unneeded surgery.
Bhargava said the most important question facing medical personnel in this area is how to determine which patients will get the truly risky kind of prostate cancer versus those who have prostate cancer that is unlikely to cause death.
In this video, Bhargava talks about his method that incorporates chemistry into bioimaging, how the techniques will help medical personnel in making assessments about cancers, how the automated method works, and the ultimate goals of this project.
©2008 Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign