Optical Imaging Falloposcope for Minimally Invasive Ovarian Cancer Detection

Case ID:

This invention provides a minimally invasive, inexpensive, and highly effective diagnostic screening for ovarian cancer in women without requiring general anesthesia or surgery. The invention, a miniature optical imaging device called a falloposcope, combines Multispectral Fluorescence Imaging (MFI) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to generate high-quality images of ovarian tissue that can be used to help determine if the tissue is cancerous. It was developed with inexpensive optical components, works in concert with contrast agents for molecular imaging, and can inherently determine the location of the disease. This invention offers an ideal method for ovarian cancer screening because it is exquisitely sensitive to early neoplastic changes. The falloposcope has been shown in multiple diseases to have high sensitivity and specificity, and provides localization of the cancerous tissue. 

Ovarian cancer, the most deadly female reproductive malignancy, has a high mortality rate because there are very few symptoms in the early stages of disease development that allow for early and/or accurate diagnosis. Most cases are diagnosed at stages when the disease has metastasized, making it much more difficult to treat or cure. Although many advances have recently been made in chemotherapy, surgery and the understanding of the genetics of ovarian cancers, little has changed with respect to mortality. In fact, 70% of women who develop ovarian cancer die from it. Therefore, there is a clear clinical need for a viable screening technique for early detection of ovarian cancer.


  • Ovarian cancer screening
  • Ovarian cancer diagnostic


  • Minimally invasive
  • Highly accurate - provide the level of tissue specificity needed to accurately diagnosis ovarian cancer at an early stage
  • Provides full visualization of potential origin sites of ovarian cancer
  • Works in concert with contrast agents for molecular imaging
  • Inexpensive

Status: issued U.S. patent #10,939,864

Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Garrett Edmunds
Licensing Manager, UAHS-TLA
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Jennifer Barton
Urs Utzinger
John Black
Tyler Tate
Maureen Keenan