ESOTRAC - listening to light


listening to light

ESOTRAC - addressing an urgent medical need


addressing an urgent medical need

ESOTRAC - challenging endeavor


challenging endeavor

ESOTRAC - increasing penetration depth & adaptation of software


increasing penetration depth & adaptation of software

ESOTRAC - offering multispectral analysis


offering multispectral analysis

ESOTRAC - international interdisciplinary team


international interdisciplinary team



ESOTRAC, a 4-year research program bringing together engineers and physicians, aims to significantly improve the detection of early-stage esophageal cancer. The interdisciplinary, 5-country research team will develop an innovative endoscope that combines sensing of pathophysiological tissue signatures resolved by multi-spectral optoacoustic (photoacoustic) tomography (MSOT) with morphological disease signatures provided by optical coherence tomography (OCT).




More than 450.000 people are diagnosed with esophageal cancer (EC) each year worldwide and ~400.000 die annually from the disease. The high mortality rate is attributed to the late detection of the disease, largely due to insufficient detection methods today. Besides loss of life, treating late disease incurs costs in the range of $80,000-250,000 per patient lifetime making esophageal cancer among the most expensive diseases to treat in oncology today. Risk factors, including obesity, chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Barret’s esophagus, implicate diagnostically a much larger population. It is estimated that at least 100 million people suffer of GERD in Western Countries and that ~10 million people in Western countries live with Barrett’s esophagus. Alarmingly, due to an aging and more overweight population the incidence rates of GERD, Barrett’s esophagus and EC are increasing.

Today, EC detection and diagnosis is typically based on white-light endoscopy (WLE), i.e. the visual inspection of the esophagus lumen through an optical system (endoscope) and subsequent pathological analysis of biopsied samples. Human vision however is insensitive to detecting early disease (dysplasia / sub-surface lesions) and lacks specificity and staging ability compromising disease prognosis. Due to WLE limitations, random biopsies may be prescribed to improve the chances of detecting early disease and tumor staging. Random tissue sampling is nevertheless sub-optimal and it may miss EC. Therefore, EC is often detected late in the course of development, which decreases the five year survival rate by more than 80% compared to early detection of the disease.

Thus, a novel tool for early detection of EC is urgently needed.




Optoacoustic endoscopy - faster than ever!

The ESOTRAC consortium developed an 360º, 50 Hz frame rate, distal scanning capsule optoacoustic endoscope which holds the great translational…


Broadband axicon transducer

ESOTRAC researchers achieve an unprecedented depths of focus for optoacoustic microscopy while retaining high lateral resolution matching Bessel…


ESOTRAC completed!

After 5 intensive years within an amazing consortium, we close the project with a great invetion at hand. Many thanks to all the partners! This…


Measurements in the clinic in Cambridge

In ESOTRAC we installed our new hybrid OCT optoacoustic endoscope for the early detection of esophagealcancer at the clinic of the University of…

Flyer-ESOTRAC designed axicon ultrasound transducers


ESOTRAC designed axicon ultrasound transducers

A new study by Helmholtz Zentrum München in collaboration with transducer manufacturer SONAXIS shows that an ESOTRAC designed ultra broadband axicon u…