Our Journey

From lab bench to grossing bench: how our team transformed a scientific breakthrough to a clinical product.

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    The Vision

    The story begins 15 years ago, when Dr. Angela Belcher, decided to join the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.

    She decided to leverage her world-class expertise in material science to cancer imaging. It was her vision to dedicate her research to shortwave infrared, a wavelength range where light penetrates deeper into biological tissue and has natural characteristic responses to different chemicals. It is also an area traditionally controlled by the military and therefore under-explored in medicine.

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    The Problem

    Jeremy, a serial inventor, joined Belcher lab as a postdoc and received a difficult scientific problem to solve from Dr. Darrel Irvine: how to visualize lymphatic response in mice without sacrificing batches and batches of them? Is there a non-invasive in vivo imaging method for monitoring immune responses?

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  • The Accidental Breakthrough

    Angela and Jeremy tried all the existing techniques for lymph node imagin, including ICG fluorescence, radioactive tracer, ultrasound, etc. They then soon realized that the lymphatic system is particularly hard to image because it is translucent, just like the surrounding fat, and it flows very slowly.

    On Oct. 13th 2019, Jeremy was working on a different project and forgot to turn off the machine. Jeremy’s collaborator, Dr. Murillo Silva, walked with a mouse carcass for lymph node dissection. While Murillo is having a hard time finding the mouse inguinal lymph node, Jeremy noticed that the machine that he forgot to turn off showed significant contrast between lymph node and fat. It is at that moment, the foundational technology is established. It is built on a strong signal that was accidentally discovered – similar to how X-ray was discovered to be useful for medicine because Röntgen’s hands happened to be there.

    Angela and Jeremy spent three years at MIT to optimize the technology, published and patented the technology.

  • To make a difference

    Because both Angela and Jeremy had inventions that were commercialized before, they both realized that an interesting scientific study is still far away from a useful product. They embarked their journey to really make a difference in patient care with this technology.

    They started Cision Vision in June 2020 and interviewed more than 700 clinicians. They received tremendous help from the community, especially the Pathologists’ Assistants. Jeremy went on the People of Pathology podcast (link to the podcast). Received help from hundreds of PAs, including Rob Cottrell, Mary Mattes, Cheryl Germain, Jon Wagner, Anosha Singh, Charmian Wong, and many more.

  • The relentless pursuit to get it right

    We went through more than 10 iterations of the product design, and finally reached the version that we have now.

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    Reaching the clinics

    In late 2022, we started our clinical study with Wisconsin Diagnostic lab

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    Just the start

    It’s been a long journey to translate a scientific invention from lab benches to a clinical product on the grossing benches.

    But we know this is just the beginning. We invite you to join our mission to modernize pathology grossing and bring accurate and efficient cancer staging to clinicians and patients around the world.

Interested in checking out InVision in real clinical environments?

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Disclosures and important safety information

InVision is an FDA registered Class I medical device. It does not diagnose or recognize lymph nodes or any other anatomical structures. It is a phase-contrast microscope that provides contrast between different tissue types based on how they change the phases of light propagation. It does not diagnose or recognize lymph nodes for the users, and users ultimately make the final judgement on whether a specific piece of specimen contains lymph nodes or not. It is intended to be used by trained healthcare professionals in clinical environments and cannot be used at home.

InVision is also certified for IEC 61010-1:2010 (Safety requirements for electrical equipment for measurement, control, and laboratory use) and IEC 61326-1:2012 (immunity and emissions regarding electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) for electrical equipment, operating from a supply or battery of less than 1000 V a.c. or 1500 V d.c. or from the circuit being measured.) The users should follow InVision’s manual and instruction videos to operate the device. The user should not directly look at the illumination source in InVision with their eyes for an extended period of time to prevent any eye damage. Specimens should not be left on the imaging window for an extended period as extensive exposure to light can potentially dehydrates and damage the specimen.
For important safety information, please also refer to www.cisionvision/product. For a product’s intended use and/or indications for use, risks, full cautions and warnings, please refer to the associated User Manual(s).

Individual outcomes may depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to patient characteristics, disease characteristics, and/or user experience.

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