Research Fellows Directory
Dr Catherine Kendall
My research focuses on the use of light to enhance the diagnosis of disease, in particular the early diagnosis of cancer in the gastrointestinal tract. Light is used to analyse tissue samples using spectroscopy to help develop tools for clinicians (surgeons and pathologists) to probe tissue biochemistry non-invasively.
There are two aspects to this research. Firstly developing probes that can be used as an extra tool for the clinician at endoscopy, or in theatre, to enable immediate diagnosis to be undertaken obviating the need to take biopsy samples and send them to the histopathology laboratory. During the past year the performance of the probes to distinguish colorectal tissue pathology has been evaluated. The second approach is to develop tools for the pathologist to use; spectral tissue maps provide information on the biochemical distribution across the sample. Oesophageal resection tissue been mapped using the probe to elucidate the biochemistry across the sample. Further work has been undertaken to develop tools, funded by the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, which will provide essential additional information to help the pathologists discriminate between a benign condition, epithelial misplacement, and cancer in samples which experts are currently finding it difficult to reach a consensus diagnosis and has substantial consequences for the patient.
A second area of interest is volatile analysis using electronic nose technology to enhance the diagnosis of disease. Research investigating whether an e-nose can discriminate between bacterial, fungal and no growth in samples collected from patients in intensive care at risk of developing ventilator associated pneumonia has been completed. Earlier identification of patients with infection would enable earlier intervention with targeted antibiotics and lead to improved patient outcomes. Further analysis of volatiles for the assessment of the efficacy of anti-fungals has been investigated.