Real-time imaging of living tissue
Professor Rafael Piestun
Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering
Controlling the process by which light waves travel into and through complex media, such as blood and skin, is a growing area of imaging research. Unfortunately, spatial light modulation devices, which allow this by varying the properties of a beam of light in useful ways, are limited in speed. This prevents real-time applications such as imaging of live tissue or imaging through turbulent flow, which are constantly changing by the millisecond. Piestun’s lab has created impressive improvements in this area, developing a light wave control technique that is faster than any other available technology by more than one order of magnitude and demonstrating a record high-speed wave shaping. Applications for this technique in the medical field are as varied as they are intriguing. By enabling imaging through multimode fibers, which are thinner and more efficient than existing endoscopes, this technique could open a window into previously inaccessible regions of the human body. Another potential application is in focusing light deeper into skin tissues for medical evaluation.