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VCR's Distinguished Lecture Series

The VCR's Distinguished Lecture Series was created in an effort to educate and help the research community stay abreast on the world’s most pressing research topics.

During each of their visits, invited lecturers will meet with UTHSC administration, faculty and staff to share ideas and foster collaborative efforts centered on education, research and entrepreneurial ventures. They will also deliver a scientific lecture to the UTHSC community.

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"World’s Deepest-Penetration and Fastest Cameras: Photoacoustic Tomography and Compressed Ultrafast Photography" presented by Lihong V. Wang, PhD, Bren Professor, Department of Medical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

When: March 14, 2019 at Noon

Where: The Freeman Auditorium (930 Madison Avenue, 3rd Floor) 

Talk Abstract

We developed photoacoustic tomography to peer deep into biological tissue. Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) provides in vivoomniscale functional, metabolic, molecular, and histologic imaging across the scales of organelles through organisms. We also developed compressed ultrafast photography (CUP) to record 10 trillion frames per second, 10 orders of magnitude faster than commercially available camera technologies. CUP can tape the fastest phenomenon in the universe, namely, light propagation, and can be slowed down for slower phenomena such as combustion.

PAT physically combines optical and ultrasonic waves. Conventional high-resolution optical imaging of scattering tissue is restricted to depths within the optical diffusion limit (~1 mm in the skin). Taking advantage of the fact that ultrasonic scattering is orders of magnitude weaker than optical scattering per unit path length, PAT beats this limit and provides deep penetration at high ultrasonic resolution and high optical contrast by sensing molecules. Broad applications include early-cancer detection and brain imaging. The annual conference on PAT has become the largest in SPIE’s 20,000-attendee Photonics West since 2010.

CUP can image in 2D non-repetitive time-evolving events. CUP has a prominent advantage of measuring an x,y, t (x, y, spatial coordinates; t, time) scene with a single exposure, thereby allowing observation of transient events occurring on a time scale down to 100 femtoseconds. Further, akin to traditional photography, CUP is receive-only—avoiding specialized active illumination required by other single-shot ultrafast imagers. CUP can be coupled with front optics ranging from microscopes to telescopes for widespread applications in both fundamental and applied sciences.

About Dr. Wang

Lihong Wang earned his PhD degree at Rice University, Houston, Texas under the tutelage of Robert Curl, Richard Smalley, and Frank Tittel. He is Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering at California Institute of Technology. His book entitled “Biomedical Optics: Principles and Imaging,” one of the first textbooks in the field, won the 2010 Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award. He also edited the first book on photoacoustic tomography and coauthored a book on polarization. He has published 470 peer-reviewed articles in journals, including Nature (Cover story), Science, PNAS, and PRL, and has delivered 460 keynote, plenary, or invited talks. His Google Scholar h-index and citationshave reached 118 and 58,000, respectively. His laboratory was the first to report functional photoacoustic tomography, 3D photoacoustic microscopy, photoacoustic endoscopy, photoacoustic reporter gene imaging, the photoacoustic Doppler effect, the universal photoacoustic reconstruction algorithm, microwave-induced thermoacoustic tomography, ultrasound-modulated optical tomography, time-reversed ultrasonically encoded optical focusing, nonlinear photoacoustic wavefront shaping, compressed ultrafast photography (10 trillion frames/s, world’s fastest camera), Mueller-matrix optical coherence tomography, and optical coherence computed tomography. In particular, photoacoustic imaging broke through the long-standing diffusion limit on the penetration of optical microscopy and reached new depths for noninvasive biochemical, functional, and molecular imaging in living tissue at high resolution. He chairs the annual conference on Photons plus Ultrasound, the largest conference at Photonics West. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Biomedical Optics. He received the NIH’s FIRST, NSF’s CAREER, NIH Director’s Pioneer, and NIH Director’s Transformative Researchawards. He also received the OSA C.E.K. Mees Medal, IEEE Technical Achievement Award, IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award, SPIE Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award, Senior Prize of the International Photoacoustic and Photothermal Association, and OSA Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award. He is a Fellow of the AIMBE, Electromagnetics Academy, IEEE, OSA, and SPIE. He was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering. An honorary doctorate was conferred on him by Lund University, Sweden.

For more information on the upcoming Lecture series, please see the Upcoming Schedule webpage. To see an archive of past presentations, please see the Recorded Lectures webpage.

Last Published: Feb 8, 2019