We are looking for new graduate students from electrical and computer engineering or mechanical and industrial engineering to join our group in developing new advances in biomedical optical imaging systems. We have particular interest in coherent optical detection, confocal microscopy, and multi-modal imaging where at least one of the modes is optical. We work on these systems within interdisciplinary groups at and beyond Northeastern, from beginning to end, including computational modeling, system design, fabrication, laboratory testing, translation to clinical instrumentation, and signal processing.
Here are some research projects that are of interest to our laboratory. We are always looking for highly motivated students with an interest in biomedical optics. If you are interested in pursuing thesis research in any of these areas, search our publications for further details, and then send email to arrange a meeting for further discussions. We have many other ideas, and are also interested in exploring ideas that students bring to the group.
* Three-Dimensional Imaging with Quadrature Microscope: This project will redesign the optical path of the Optical Quadrature Microscope, and develop techniques for tracking particles in three dimensions. Optical Quadrature Microscopy allows "computational focusing" in which a single image is collected, and computational techniques are used to change the focus to different planes. Thus, tracking in three dimensions is possible without the need for multiple images focused at different planes. There is sufficient material here for a proposal for future funding.
* Imaging in Lung with Optical Coherence Tomography: We collaborate with Prof. Gouldstone in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, on imaging lung with Optical Coherence Tomography. We are interested in novel multi-directional imaging techniques and associated signal processing techniques to recover the shape of internal structures of the lung. We are also active in computational modeling of the imaging process. The approach can also be extended to imaging in other porous media. The graduate student in this area is finishing his studies, and so we are looking for an ECE or MIE graduate student to continue this research starting in the fall of 2012.
* Digital Staining: Many different modes of microscopy can be used to image skin, each producing some different information in vivo, or in ex-vivo tissue without slicing it into thin sections. Data from these images can be combined to provide information close to that obtained through more complicated and time-consuming pathology. Our goal here is to generate an image that is indistinguishable from those that would be obtained in the pathology lab. The ideal student would have a strong interest in the imaging technology and some skill in signal processing.
Our current graduate students are working on these projects. There might still be potential for a motivated student with new ideas related to any of these areas.
* Imaging of Melanin in Skin: We have recently discovered a stepwise three-photon excited fluorescence that can be implemented with a low-power and low-cost laser. We are trying to understand the details of this process and optimize it so that we can combine it with confocal microscopy for applications in dermatology.
* Imaging with Light and Sound: We are working on techniques that combine light and sound to image in biological tissue. Specifically, we are doing computational models of an ultrasound-generated guidestar to permit deeper imaging. This project is also exploring the general subject of light propagation in highly turbid media.
* Imaging Collagen: Collaborating with Prof. Ruberti and Prof. Wan, in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, we are using small-angle light scattering, second-harmonic generation microscopy and new image-processing algorithms to determine the orientation of collagen fibrils. We have worked in the past on processing techniques to measure fibril diameters from DIC images.
* Photothermal Microscopy: In this project, collaborating with Prof. Kowalski in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, we illuminate tissue with pulsed, focused light and detect motion using coherent detection. The goal is to image deeper than conventional confocal microscopy and to obtain mechanical as well as optical properties of the tissue. Current efforts are mostly on computational modeling using a rigorous combined optical, thermal, and mechanical model.
* Structured Illumination Microscopy: We are using structured illumination to provide low-cost optical sectioning for 3-D imaging in tissue with potentially lower cost, simpler instrumentation, and less speckle than confocal reflectance microscopy. A structured pattern is focused into the tissue and imaged onto a camera. The pattern is blurred in the out-of-focus planes. Signal processing recovers the image modulated by the pattern and rejects the un-patterned part of the image.