Tulio Valdez, M.D.

Tulio Valdez, M.D.Associate Professor of Otolaryngology

Email: tvaldez@connecticutchildrens.org



Research Overview

Cholesteatomas are benign lesions of the middle ear, mastoid and petrous bone composed of keratinized epithelium. Their presence can erode adjacent bony structures leading to ossicular chain, otic capsule and mastoid bone destruction causing hearing loss, vestibular dysfunction, facial paralysis and intracranial complications.

Recognizing the specific challenges of identifying all cholesteatoma tissue in order to detect its development or recurrence, and to facilitate its complete removal, we have developed non-invasive label-free optical techniques that allow us to both identify cholesteatomas and discern their metabolic activity and chemical composition at a subcellular level. We have built a multi-wavelength video-rate fluorescence otoscope that has been employed to study congenital cholesteatomas based on their intrinsic strong auto-fluorescence signal. We have also developed a multimodal spectroscopy probe and Raman microscopy to obtain chemical, metabolic and structural information. More importantly, these optical modalities can be easily adapted to otoendoscopes, which are currently used in otologic surgery.