Optical Imaging  

Media Coverage

July, 2017 Bioengineering Today: New Imaging Technique Yields Detailed, Whole-Body Videos of a Rat's Insides

Small animals such as rodents are indispensable models for preclinical and basic science research. Seeing inside their entire bodies with high spatial and time resolution could provide insights into biological processes, advancing studies of human disease and drug development... More>>

June, 2017 Medical Physics Web: SIP-PACT tracks whole-body dynamics in real time

Photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) is an optical imaging technology used for whole-body imaging of small laboratory animals. A new single-impulse panoramic PACT (SIP-PACT) system is enabling researchers to perform high-resolution in vivo imaging of whole-body dynamics of small animals in real time. The system combines high spatiotemporal resolution, deep penetration, anatomical, dynamical and functional contrasts, and full-view fidelity... More>>

May, 2017 New Atlas: New cancer imaging technique to help removal of tumors in one go

For many patients diagnosed with cancer, the primary treatment plan is surgery to remove the tumor, but in the quest to retain as much healthy tissue as possible, it's impossible for surgeons to know if they've removed all traces of the cancerous tissue while in the operating room. A new imaging technique would give doctors this ability, thus avoiding having the patient return to surgery weeks later for a second procedure... More>>

May, 2017 Biophotonics.World: Cutting down on cancer surgeries

Engineers at the Optical Imaging Laboratory led by Caltech's Lihong Wang have developed an imaging technology that could help surgeons removing breast cancer lumps confirm that they have cut out the entire tumor--reducing the need for additional surgeries... More>>

May, 2017 Caltech: Laser-Induced Sound Waves Provide Live Panoramic Views of Tissue Functions

Medical engineers at the Optical Imaging Laboratory led by Caltech's Lihong Wang are now able to take a live look at the inner workings of a small animal with enough resolution to see active organs, flowing blood, circulating melanoma cells, and firing neural networks... More>>

March, 2017 Caltech: Seeing Deeper: An Interview with Lihong Wang

Using a combination of light and sound, Lihong Wang is noninvasively peering deeper inside biological tissues than previously possible. Three-dimensional photoacoustic microscopy and functional photoacoustic computed tomography, the technologies first reported by Wang—Caltech's Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering—generate detailed color images of tumors and other structures inside the body... More>>

March, 2017 SPIE: Worlds fastest camera for ultrafast phenomena provides temporal information

In this video interview, Lihong Wang of Calltech discusses a single-shot ultrafast video recording of a light-induced photonic Mach cone propagating in an engineered scattering plate assembly. This dynamic light-scattering event was captured in a single camera exposure by lossless-encoding compressed ultrafast photography at 100 billion frames per second...More>>

March, 2017 Nature Photonics: Light scattering on tape

Ultrafast two-dimensional imaging of dynamic phenomena in real time should ideally achieve a picosecond-level exposure time per frame while avoiding temporal and spatial scanning. Now, Jinyang Liang and collaborators have successfully recorded light-scattering dynamics in the form of a photonic Mach cone with a single camera exposure at a rate of 100 billion frames per second...More>>

Feburary, 2017 Science & Vie: They filmed the movement of light in a vacuum!

This is the fastest race in the Universe, at nearly 300,000 km/s ... and yet it did not stop the physicists of Lihong Wang's team from the University Of Washington, in St Louis (USA), to film for the first time the propagation of light in a vacuum...More>>(French)

August, 2016 medicalphysicsweb: Photoacoustic Imaging Quantifies Elasticity

Biomedical engineers in the US have developed a form of photoacoustic imaging that can quantify the elasticity of human tissue. The technique, which the engineers tested on skeletal muscle in a human, could be used to monitor the elasticity of the cervix during pregnancy, for example, potentially allowing doctors to predict premature delivery dates...More>>

July, 2016 Digital Journal, Laser Focus World, TMCnet, ITbriefing, and 4-Traders: Imaging at the Speed of Light

Researchers have improved upon a new camera technology that can image at speeds about 100 times faster than today’s commercial cameras while also capturing more image frames. The new technology opens a host of new possibilities for studying extremely fast processes such as neurons firing, chemical reactions, fuel burning or chemicals exploding...More>> Digital Journal, Laser Focus World, TMCnet, ITbriefing, 4-Traders

July, 2016 SIAM News: See Light Move: Compressed Sensing and the World's Fastest 2-D Camera

In an ordinary digital camera, a large amount of information is collected by the camera’s sensor. This information is immediately processed by compression software, and a much smaller amount is then stored. This process takes time, contributing largely to what is...More>>

July, 2016 Scientific American: Light-Speed Camera Captures Split-Second Action

A new approach to high-speed photography could help capture the clearest-ever footage of light pulses, explosions or neurons firing in the brain, according to a team of ultrafast camera developers. The technique involves shooting 100 billion frames per second in a single exposure without an external light source. That means, for example, there would be no need to set off multiple explosions just to gather enough data to create a video reconstructing exactly how chemicals react to create the blast...More>>

PBS NewsHour: This camera snaps photos 3 billion times faster than an iPhone. A new approach to high-speed photography could help capture the clearest-ever footage of light pulses, explosions or neurons firing in the brain, according to a team of ultrafast camera developers. The technique involves shooting 100 billion frames per second in a single exposure without an external light source. That means, for example, there would be no need to set off multiple explosions just to gather enough data to create a video reconstructing exactly how chemicals react to create the blast...More>>

January, 2016 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) News

Dr. Lihong Wang will give a talk in the upcoming 2016 Gordon Research Conference on Image Science. The time and the placeholder title for his presentation is:

Lihong Wang

Session: Imaging at the Physical Limits

Time: Tuesday morning, June 7

Placeholder title: Redefining the spatiotemporal limits of optical imaging

See the flyer of the conference:

December, 2015 OPN News: Compressed Ultrafast Photography for Watching Flying Photons

Direct visualization of transient events holds great interest in physics, chemistry and biology. Existing CCD or CMOS detectors have limited on-chip storage and data readout speeds, however, and so cannot image events lasting less than 1 ns. The streak camera—an ultrafast imager that converts time to space by pulling photoelectrons with a sweeping voltage along the axis perpendicular to the device’s entrance slit—breaks that speed limit. Yet the streak camera conventionally is a 1-D imager, acquiring one line of the scene per measurement. That makes mechanical scanning necessary to obtain a 2-D image, so the transient event must be reproducible for repetitive measurements...More>>

November, 2015 Medicalphysicsweb News: Switchable Protein Images Cancers at Depth

The researchers – from Lihong Wang's laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis and Vladislav Verkhusha's laboratory at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine – genetically modified U87 human glioblastoma cells to express BphP1, a bacterial phytochrome protein cloned from a purple photosynthetic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris. BphP1 exhibits natural photochromic behaviour, switching between two absorbing states: from an "ON" state to an "OFF" state upon 730–790 nm illumination, and back upon 630–690 nm illumination...More>>

November, 2015 WUSTL Record Cover: Flipping the Switch to Better See Cancer Cells

A team of engineers, led by Lihong Wang, PhD, and postdoctoral researcher Junjie Yao, found a way to clearly see tiny amounts of live cancer cells as deep as 1 centimeter in tissue using photoacoustic tomography. They did so by genetically modifying glioblastoma cancer cells to express BphP1 protein, derived from a bacterium commonly found in soil and water...More>>

October, 2015 OPN News: Capturing Moving Targets in Scattering Media

Researchers continue to search for solutions to the problem of focusing light in scattering media—an essential requirement for optical imaging of biological tissues at any meaningful depth. A team of scientists from Washington University of St. Louis (USA) now reports that it has devised an improvement to wavefront-shaping techniques that can substantially boost the speed, quality, and practicality of imaging in scattering media. The team sees applications for the technique ranging from deep-tissue biophotonic imaging to real-time capture of movement and flow of blood cells in living tissue...More>>

July, 2015 National Public Radio: A Scientist Deploys Light And Sound To Reveal The Brain

Wang, a professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has already helped develop instruments that can detect individual cancer cells in the bloodstream and oxygen consumption deep within the body. He has also created a camera that shoots at 100 billion frames a second, fast enough to freeze an object traveling at the speed of light...More>>

June, 2015 Science Magazine: Small Animal Imaging: Data That's More Than Skin Deep

To minimize complexity, researchers often study cellular proteins or nucleic acids in isolation. But sometimes—when testing a drug’s efficacy and safety, for instance, or monitoring tumor progression—ex vivo just won't do. The only way to know how a compound or cells will behave in the body is to put them into an animal and watch what happens live. The results are easily recognizable in the pages of your favorite journal: the ghostly outline of a mouse, with a telltale multicolored heat bloom indicating where the action is...More>>

June, 2015 NSF Discovery: Seeing More Deeply with Laser Light

A human skull, on average, is about 0.3 inches thick, or roughly the depth of the latest smartphone. Human skin, on the other hand, is about 0.1 inches, or about three grains of salt, deep.

While these dimensions are extremely thin, they still present major hurdles for any kind of imaging with laser light.

Why? Laser light contains photons, or miniscule particles of light. When photons encounter biological tissue, they scatter. Corralling the tiny beacons to obtain meaningful details about the tissue has proven one of the most challenging problems laser researchers have faced.

However, one research group at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) decided to eliminate the photon roundup completely and use scattering to their advantage...More>>

June, 2015 HEC TV: World’s Fastest 2-D Camera

A team of biomedical engineers at Washington University, led by Dr. Lihong Wang, has developed the world’s fastest receive-only 2-D camera. The device can capture events up to 100 billion frames per second. The camera tracks light, capturing images of a single laser pulse, opening the door for scientific exploration and new discoveries...More>>

April, 2015 NIBIB News: Ultrafast Camera Captures Images at the Speed of Light

Newswise — An NIBIB grantee has developed an ultrafast camera that can acquire two-dimensional images at 100 billion frames per second, a speed capable of revealing light pulses and other phenomena previously too fast to be observed. “When you turn on a laser pointer, you see an immediate beam of light. That’s because light moves so fast, you aren’t able to detect its movement with the naked eye. Using this camera, light is revealed as traveling through space from one point to another,” says the camera’s inventor, Lihong Wang, Ph.D., a professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis...More>>

April, 2015 SPIE Newsroom: Watching Photons on the Fly

Video recording of ultrafast phenomena such as dynamic events in molecular biology would transform our understanding of a range of phenomena. However, using a detector array based on CCD or CMOS technologies is fundamentally limited by the sensor's on-chip storage and data transfer speed. To get around this problem, the most practical approach is to use a streak camera. In this ultrafast imaging device, the incident light first passes through a narrow entrance slit (usually 50µm wide) and is imaged onto the photocathode of a streak tube. Here, the incident light is converted to photoelectrons, which are accelerated by an accelerating mesh. A pair of electrodes then applies a sweeping (i.e., time-varying) voltage along the axis perpendicular to the device's entrance slit. Because of this sweeping voltage, electrons arriving at different times are deflected to different spatial positions, and these electrons are then multiplied by a microchannel plate. They subsequently bombard a phosphor screen and are converted back into light. The phosphor screen is imaged to a CCD, which records the image. However, the resultant image is normally 1D: only a single line of the scene can be seen at a time. Acquiring a 2D image requires mechanical scanning across the entire field of view, which poses severe restrictions on the recordable scenes because the event itself must be repetitive...More>>

March, 2015 WUSTL News: High-tech Method Allows Rapid Imaging of Functions in Living Brain

Researchers studying cancer and other invasive diseases rely on high-resolution imaging to see tumors and other activity deep within the body’s tissues. Using a new high-speed, high-resolution imaging method, Lihong Wang, PhD, and his team at Washington University in St. Louis were able to see blood flow, blood oxygenation, oxygen metabolism and other functions inside a living mouse brain at faster rates than ever before.

Using photoacoustic microscopy (PAM), a single-wavelength, pulse-width-based technique developed in his lab, Wang, the Gene K. Beare Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, was able to take images of blood oxygenation 50 times faster than their previous results using fast-scanning PAM; 100 times faster than their acoustic-resolution system; and more than 500 times faster than phosphorescence-lifetime-based two-photon microscopy (TPM)...More>>

March, 2015 SCIENCESHOT: A Faster Way to Watch Blood Flow in the Brain

Shielded by the skull and packed with fatty tissue, the living brain is perhaps the most difficult organ for scientists to probe. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which noninvasively measures changes in blood flow and oxygen consumption as a proxy for neuronal activation, lags far behind the actual speed of thought. Now, a new technique may provide the fastest yet method of measuring blood flow in the brain, scientists report online today in Nature Methods. The technique, which bounces laser beams off red blood cells, has a resolution of under a millisecond—slightly less time than it takes a neuron to fire—and it has a far higher spatial resolution than fMRI. Even the most powerful fMRI machines, used only on animals, can image only millimeter-wide swaths of tissues including thousands of cells. The new technique, which takes its measurements from sonic waves produced by the beams, can image structures as small as individual blood vessels and cells (see above). Although the technique is not likely to be feasible in humans due to safety concerns, it could provide an important tool to better understand how blood flow and oxygen consumption is related to brain activity. That’s a key question for those relying on cruder and safer tools, such as fMRI, to study the human brain, researchers say. It is also a powerful tool for studying how errant eddies and whorls of blood in blood vessels can sometimes lead to stroke, they say.

February, 2015 Physicstoday: An Ultrafast Camera Films Light at Light Speed

Exploiting a strategy known as compressed sensing, the camera can capture video at 100 billion frames per second.

The human visual system can perceive only about 10 distinct images per second. So to record everyday life as we experience it, a standard video capture rate of 24 frames per second (fps) more than suffices. But many physical phenomena unfold faster than the eye can see. To record them, researchers seek ever-faster cameras.

Now Lihong Wang and coworkers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a camera that can record at 1011 fps, good enough to capture the movement of light at millimeter length scales.1 The camera marries streak photography, an ultrafast imaging technique previously limited to filming in one spatial dimension, with compressive sensing, a mathematical strategy for reconstructing an entire scene from an incomplete set of measurements. “The camera has countless potential applications,” comments Mário Figueiredo of Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, Portugal. “It’s sort of like a microscope for time.”...More>>

February, 2015 Nature News Feature: Optics, Super Vision

Using techniques adapted from astronomy, physicists are finding ways to see through opaque materials such as living tissue...

“Just ten years ago, we couldn't imagine high-resolution imaging down to even 1 centimetre in the body with optical light, but now that has now become a reality,” says Lihong Wang, a biomedical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. “Call me crazy, but I believe that we will eventually be doing whole-body imaging with optical light.”...More>>

February, 2015 Texas Instruments Blogs: World’s Fastest 2-D Camera Uses TI DLP Technology

The majority of us don’t give much thought to individual seconds in our daily lives. But Dr. Lihong Wang, the Gene K. Beare Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, lives and works one second at a time.

Lihong and his colleagues have created the Compressed Ultra-fast Photography (CUP) camera, the world’s fastest 2-D camera – taking up to 100 billion frames per second. The typical point-and-shoot camera takes 2-15 frames per second...More>>

February, 2015 Physics World Features: TRAP Focuses Deep into Tissue

A non-invasive, non-contact technique that focuses light on moving structures in scattering materials has been developed by researchers in the US. Dubbed time-reversed adapted-perturbation (TRAP) optical focusing, the technique can be used in soft tissue and has a range of potential medical and biological applications (Nature Photonics 8 931).

In medicine, the ability to focus light at depth in tissue – a strongly scattering medium – is valuable in techniques including photoacoustic imaging and photoablation therapies. Existing strategies use a “guide star” – a reference source that characterizes scatter in the medium. The problem is that physical versions, such as implanted fluorescence beads, are invasive, while “virtual” guide stars, which use focused ultrasound, have to be placed in direct contact with skin, limiting clinical applications. TRAP, in contrast, seeks out moving structures and uses them instead...More>>

January, 2015 Fortune Magazine Coverage: Smile! You're on the World's Quickest 2-D Camera

Researchers have created the fastest imaging device of its type—a tool that may transform biomedicine, telecommunications, and more.

Strain as you might, some events happen too fast to perceive—the flap of a hummingbird’s wings, an atomic bomb’s instantaneous detonation, supersonic bullets carving a watermelon. Advances in optical technology have allowed humans to savor ephemera, extending visual perception beyond bodily bounds...More>>

January, 2015 WUSTL Record Cover: New Technology Focuses Diffuse Light inside Living Tissue

Lihong Wang, PhD, continues to build on his groundbreaking technology that allows light deep inside living tissue during imaging and therapy.

In the Jan. 5 issue of Nature Communications, Wang, the Gene K. Beare Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, reveals for the first time a new technique that focuses diffuse light inside a dynamic scattering medium containing living tissue...More>>

January, 2015 the Voice of America: New Ultrafast Camera Could Help Turn Sci-fi Into Reality

Biomedical engineer Lihong Wang and his research lab at Washington University in St. Louis have invented or discovered a whole bunch of high-tech imaging techniques, with sophisticated names like functional photoacoustic tomography, dark-field confocal photoacoustic microscopy and time-reversed ultrasonically encoded optical focusing.

So it probably won’t come as a surprise that the new camera Wang’s team has developed is far from ordinary. But he describes the accomplishment in a very straightforward manner: “For the first time, humans can literally see light pulses traveling in space at the speed of light," he said...More>>

January, 2015 St.LouisPublicRadio: New Ultrafast Camera Invented At Washington University Could Help Turn Science Fiction Into Reality

What if we could design a camera that could take a hundred billion pictures in a second, enough to record the fastest phenomena in the universe.

Sounds like science fiction, right?

But it’s not: a new ultrafast imaging system developed at Washington University can do just that.

Biomedical engineer Lihong Wang and his research lab have already invented or discovered a whole bunch of high tech imaging techniques, like functional photoacoustic tomography, dark-field confocal photoacoustic microscopy, time-reversed ultrasonically encoded optical focusing, and a lot of other things I had never heard of...More>>

December, 2014 WUSTL Record Cover: Most-read Stories of 2014

3. World’s fastest 2-D camera may enable new scientific discoveries.

A team of biomedical engineers in the School of Engineering & Applied Science developed the world’s fastest receive-only 2-D camera, a device that captures events up to 100 billion frames per second...More>>

December, 2014 Optics & Photonics News: Billions and Billions of 2-D Frames Per Second

What does an ultrashort laser pulse look like as it bounces off a mirror? A new ultrafast camera system can capture 2-D image sequences of such fleeting phenomena at up to 100 billion frames per second (fps).

Researchers in OSA Fellow Lihong Wang's group at Washington University in St. Louis (USA) developed a receive-only technique called compressed ultrafast photography, which does not require specialized active illumination schemes. The imaging technique lends itself to luminescent subjects, potentially ranging from the nanoscale to the astronomical scale. Electronic imaging devices can grab up to 10 million fps, but the on-chip storage and readout speeds of charge-coupled devices and complementary metal-oxide semiconductors fundamentally limit higher frame rates. Another ultrafast image recorder, the streak camera, records information only in one dimension and thus cannot produce conventional 2-D “moving pictures...More>>

December, 2014 Medicalphysicsweb News: TRAP Focuses Deep into Tissue

A non-invasive, non-contact technique that focuses light on moving structures in scattering materials has been developed by researchers in the US. Used in soft tissue, the approach, called time-reversed adapted-perturbation (TRAP) optical focusing, has a range of potential medical and biological applications...More>>

December, 2014 LaserFocusWorld: 2D Streak Camera Operates at up to 100 Billion Frames per Second, Images Propagating Light Pulses

A receive-only 2D streak camera can capture events up to 100 billion frames per second; here, in an artist's concept, it images a green laser pulse that causes red fluorescence. This image is also the cover illustration of the Dec. 4, 2014 issue of Nature, in which Wang’s research appears. Actual footage from the 2D streak camera can be seen in the video below...More>>

December, 2014 WUSTL Record Cover: World’s Fastest 2-D Camera May Enable New Scientific Discoveries

A team of biomedical engineers in the School of Engineering & Applied Science has developed the world’s fastest receive-only 2-D camera, a device that can capture events up to 100 billion frames per second. The team is led by Lihong Wang, PhD, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering...More>>

December, 2014 WUSTL Newsroom: World’s Fastest 2-D camera May enable New Scientific Discoveries (Featured in WUSTL Homepage)

A team of biomedical engineers at Washington University in St. Louis, led by Lihong Wang, PhD, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, has developed the world’s fastest receive-only 2-D camera, a device that can capture events up to 100 billion frames per second. That’s orders of magnitude faster than any current receive-only ultrafast imaging techniques, which are limited by on-chip storage and electronic readout speed to operations of about 10 million frames per second...More>>

November, 2014 WUSTL Record Cover: University, Children’s Join National Network to Study Preterm Birth

Washington University, Children’s Hospital and the March of Dimes are launching the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center. During the next five years, the March of Dimes will invest $10 million in the center. The research effort will feature a transdisciplinary approach to discovering the causes of preterm birth to develop new strategies for prevention...More>>

November, 2014 WUSTL Record Cover: Improving Imaging of Cancerous Tissues by Reversing Time

As children, it was fascinating to put flashlights up to our palms to see the light shine through the hand. Washington University in St. Louis engineers are using a similar idea to track movement inside the body’s tissues to improve imaging of cancerous tissues and to develop potential treatments...More>>

October, 2014 SPIE Newsroom: Photoacoustic Imaging Innovator Lihong Wang to Receive SPIE Award in Biomedical Optics

Lihong Wang, a leading innovator in the field of biomedical optics and imaging and a Fellow of SPIE, has been awarded the 2015 Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award for his pioneering technical contributions and visionary leadership in the development and application of photoacoustic tomography, photoacoustic microscopy, and photon transport modeling. Wang will receive his award at the start of the BiOS Hot Topics session on 7 February at SPIE Photonics West 2015 in San Francisco, California...More>>

October, 2014 Optics & Photonics News: Measuring Melanoma with Light and Sound

Melanoma is the deadliest of all skin cancers, and its successful treatment depends on early detection and characterization of tumors—including their thickness. But current approaches to measuring tumors in the clinic all have shortcomings in depth penetration or 3-D resolution. Now, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, U.S.A., have introduced a handheld probe that uses lasers and sound waves to delineate the boundaries and measure the thickness and volume of melanoma tumors (Opt. Lett., doi: 10.1364/OL.39.004731). According to the team, the instrument is the first that can be used directly on a patient to accurately measure the depth of a melanoma tumor in the skin...More>>

September, 2014 WUSTL Record Cover: Wang Receives Prestigious NIH BRAIN Initiative Award

Lihong Wang, PhD, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, has received a prestigious BRAIN Initiative Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)...More>>

September, 2014 Medicalphysicsweb News: Optical Probe Gauges Melanoma Thickness

Lesion thickness is a key parameter in the staging and management of melanoma, an aggressive cancer that accounts for over 75% of all skin cancer deaths. However, at present, it can only be determined invasively with a biopsy that removes the entire lesion. In new work, researchers in the US have non-invasively measured melanoma thickness in a mouse using a handheld photoacoustic microscopy probe that they have developed...More>>

August, 2014 OSA News: New Hand-Held Device Uses Lasers, Sound Waves for Deeper Melanoma Imaging

A new hand-held device that uses lasers and sound waves may change the way doctors treat and diagnose melanoma, according to a team of researchers from Washington University in St. Louis. The instrument, described in a paper published today in The Optical Society’s (OSA) journal Optics Letters, is the first that can be used directly on a patient and accurately measure how deep a melanoma tumor extends into the skin, providing valuable information for treatment, diagnosis or prognosis...More>>

January, 2014 SPIE News: SPIE Fellow Lihong Wang Receive Honorary Degree

Lund University awarded Lihong Wang, a professor in biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis (USA), with an honorary doctorate for his prominent role in developing photoacoustic-imaging technology in biomedicine. Wang is a regular guest lecturer at Lund University, where the interdisciplinary study group Multiple Imaging Modalities for Improved Care (MIMIC) was created based on his technology...More>>

January, 2014 WUSTL News:Wang Receive Outstanding St. Louis Scientist Award

Lihong Wang, PhD, in the School of Engineering & Applied Science will receive prestigious Outstanding St. Louis Scientist Award from the Academy of Science St. Louis...More>>

January, 2014 WUSTL News: Postdoctoral Fellows’ Research Highlighted in PNAS

Mohammad R.N. Avanaki and Jun Xia, postdoctoral fellows in Professor Lihong Wang’s lab, utilized optical excitation and acoustic detection to develop a functional connectivity photoacoustic tomography (fcPAT) system. Using this technology, they could noninvasively image, for the first time, resting-state functional connectivity in the mouse brain, with a large field of view and a high spatial resolution. Due to the increased use of mouse models for human brain disease studies, this method could facilitate neuroscientists’ research. The findings in this study are now published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and highlighted in its “Applied Physical Sciences; Neuroscience” section for the attention of neuroscientists.

January, 2014 WUSTL News: Unwanted Side Effect Becomes Advantage in Photoacoustic Imaging

Biomedical engineer Lihong Wang, PhD, and researchers in his lab work with lasers used in photoacoustic imaging for early-cancer detection and a close look at biological tissue. But sometimes there are limitations to what they can do, and as engineers, they work to find a way around those limitations.

Wang, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, and Junjie Yao, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate in Wang’s lab, found a unique and novel way to use an otherwise unwanted side effect of the lasers they use — the photo bleaching effect — to their advantage...More>>

January, 2014 Focus: Bleaching Cleans Up Cell Images

The resolution in a biomedical imaging method can be improved by over-exposing, or “photobleaching,” some of the signal-producing molecules.

Photoacoustic imaging is like ultrasound imaging, but it uses light pulses to generate the sound waves inside the tissues to be imaged, such as blood vessels or tumors. A new photoacoustic technique described in Physical Review Letters improves the resolution beyond the usual diffraction limit, allowing researchers to distinguish individual cells and the structures inside cells. The method could allow subcellular imaging of biological tissues without the need to add fluorescent dyes or other contrast agents...More>>

December, 2013 Highlight in PNAS: Resting-state Connectivity in Mouse Brain

Resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) has emerged as a promising approach for imaging low-frequency, spontaneous cerebral hemodynamic fluctuations and associated functional connections. Recent research suggests that the fluctuations are altered in many brain disorders, but most RSFC imaging methods cannot be easily applied to mice, the most widely used model for human brain disease. To address the impediment, Mohammadreza Nasiriavanaki et al. developed a functional connectivity photoacoustic tomography (fcPAT) system, which uses optical excitation and acoustic detection to noninvasively image RSFC in the mouse brain. Offering both a large field of view and high spatial resolution, the authors demonstrate that fcPAT can identify bilateral correlations between brain hemispheres in eight functional areas of the brain, including the olfactory bulb, limbic, parietal, somatosensory, retrosplenial, visual, motor, and temporal regions. In addition, the authors found that fcPAT can simultaneously and noninvasively acquire vascular images with a higher spatial resolution than other deep-tissue optical imaging techniques...More>>

December, 2013 Innovator Who Created New Medical Imaging Awarded Honorary Doctorate

Professors Lihong Wang, Washington University, has been awarded the 2013 honorary doctorates at the Faculty of Engineering (LTH) at Lund University...More>>

November, 2013 ScienceShot: A Window Into Your Veins

Now there’s a better way to spy on the blood in your veins. Doctors already have two techniques to monitor obstructions in blood vessels, but they both have limitations. The first, Doppler ultrasound imaging, involves irradiating tissue with ultrasound waves; the waves that reflect off flowing blood acquire a Doppler shift, which can be used to pick out blood and calculate its speed. Doppler can't distinguish flowing blood from surrounding tissue unless it's moving quickly, however, which makes minor blood vessels invisible. The second technique, photoacoustic imaging, uses an infrared laser that, when absorbed by blood, heats it. The resulting sudden expansion creates a pressure wave that can be detected outside the body. Photoacoustic imaging picks out blood vessels better, but it can't see flow in a continuous stream. In a study published today in Physical Review Letters, researchers combined the two techniques, utilizing the fact that ultrasound also has a slight heating effect; pulsed ultrasound creates periodic hot spots in blood vessels. By tracking the movement of these hot spots (shown in yellow above) using photoacoustic imaging, the team could calculate the flow rate of the blood, even when it moved slowly through small vessels like capillaries. The researchers hope their technique may aid functional brain imaging, help cancer screening and treatment monitoring, and let doctors detect atherosclerosis before a patient has a heart attack.

November, 2013 Physics World: Thermal Technique Improves Blood-flow Measurements

A new method for imaging the flow of blood has been developed by researchers in the US. By using ultrasound to thermally tag blood, along with photoacoustics to image the resulting heat flow, the new technique is considerably more sensitive than the conventional Doppler ultrasound method that is currently used. While presently at the in vitro testing stage, this technique might have a variety of clinical applications, especially in medical diagnosis...More>>

October, 2013 Nature Outlook

Lihong Wang, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, is trying to improve endoscopy by combining conventional ultrasound with a technology called photoacoustics. Ultrasound endoscopy provides high-resolution images of structures and is widely used to look for oesophageal or colorectal cancer, for example. But its contrast is low, so it does not readily distinguish between blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, or healthy and diseased soft tissue...More>>

March, 2013 WUSTL Record Cover

Lihong Wang, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has received a three-year, $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study oxygen consumption rates of individual cells using photoacoustic microscopy, a novel imaging technology he developed that uses light and sound to measure change...More>>

December, 2012 Siteman Cancer Center

Lihong Wang, PhD, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, changed his area of emphasis from electrical engineering to biomedical engineering because he dreamed about making a difference in patients’ lives...More>>

August 13, 2012 WUSTL Newsroom

Scientists from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Washington University in St. Louis have developed a new type of medical imaging that gives doctors a new look at live internal organs...More>>

See also:

· Newswise

· Science Daily

· Device Space

· News-Medical

· Medical Express

· Vision Systems Design

· MedGadget

July 16, 2012 WUSTL Homepage

A collaboration between a surgeon and a biomedical engineer led to the invention of photoacoustic endoscopy, a powerful new tool to screen for an esophageal disorder...More>>

June 29, 2012 YouTube

Clinical applications of PAT include imaging of parameters associated with cancer, offering the prospect of earlier detection...More>>


May 3, 2012 YouTube

Photoacoustic tomography (PAT), combining optical and ultrasonic waves via the photoacoustic effect, provides in vivo multiscale non-ionizing functional and molecular imaging...More>>

April 30, 2012 Reuters

A new imaging technique called photo-acoustic tomography combines the properties of light and sound to give doctors a powerful tool to detect cancer earlier than ever before. Its developers say it can also be performed without the dangers of radiation exposure associated with current imaging methods like x-ray and CT scans...More>>

April 25, 2012 Optics.org

Photoacoustic imaging is starting to be used on human patients, and the technology could revolutionize medical imaging in clinical practice – from early-stage cancer detection, to neurology and label-free histology...More>>

April 11, 2012 The BPoD

Tracking tumors is a tricky business. Scientists have discovered recently, however, that ‘listening’ might make it easier. This image of a melanoma  (represented in gold) and blood vessels (in red) growing under mouse skin, was produced by doing just that...More>>

April 1, 2012 The Scientist

In short, “light goes in, sound comes out,” Wang says. Molecules absorb incoming pulses of laser light, which heat them up a tiny, harmless amount [PDF]...More>>

March 23, 2012 YouTube

A new imaging technique uses light and sound rather than radiation and delivers a rich, photographic rendering of structures several inches below the skin...More>>

March 22, 2012 DiagnosticImaging

My hope is that photoacoustic tomography will impact both basic science research and clinical utility,” said Lihong Wang, PhD, Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, who details this new imaging technology in the March 23 issue of Science...More>>

See also:

· Medical Physics web (UK)

· Medscape:  [PDF]

· FierceHealthIT

· LABMATE Online

· Photonics

· Futurity

· Wustl Newsroom

October 1, 2011 NanotechWeb

Researchers at Washington University in St Louis have used photoacoustic tomography – a non-invasive imaging technique – to look at how gold nanocages accumulate in the lymph nodes of rats...More>>

September, 2011 BioPhotonics

In vivo, label-free subwavelength-resolution photoacoustic microscopy enables more precise measurement of optical absorption – and, therefore, offers more information...More>>

June 2, 2011 WUSTL Newsroom

The Optical Society (OSA) has awarded Lihong V. Wang the C.E.K. Mees Medal for seminal contributions to photoacoustic tomography and Monte Carlo modeling of photon transport in biological tissues and for leadership in the international biophotonics community...More>>

March, 2011 Physics Today

A focused beam of light can trap a colloidal sphere, cause a specific neuron to fire, or deliver a lethal dose of energy to a cancerous cell. In biomedicine, focused light can perform nearly all the same sensing, diagnostic, and therapeutic functions as targeted x rays, without inducing harmful ionization...More>>

March 29, 2011 MedPhysWeb

The ability of photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) to produce exceptionally high spatial resolution images of cutaneous microvascular networks could provide a vital insight into cardiovascular diseases. That's the conclusion of researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, MO (WUSTL)...More>>

March 22, 2011 BioOptics World

To see life in its natural state, researchers want—as much as possible—imaging approaches that need no stains or labels. Photoacoustics provide this with "rich contrast," according to Lihong Wang, Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, and inventor of three-dimensional photoacoustic microscopy (see  http://bit.ly/h2EUI5)...More>>

March 21, 2011 Nature Photonics: Interview

The strong scattering of light in biological tissue impedes the development of light-based biological imaging. Lihong Wang explained to Nature Photonics how the use of ultrasound can aid the deeper and tighter focusing of light in scattering media. [Nature Photonics 5, 184 (2011), DOI: 10.1038 / nphoton. 2011. 24]...More>>

March 21, 2011 Nature Photonics: News & Views

Combining ultrasonic modulation and optical phase conjugation allows light to be tightly focused in a scattering medium, providing benefits for studies of photophysical, photochemical and photobiological processes [Nature Photonics 5, 135-136 (2011), DOI: 10.1038 / nphoton. 2011. 19]... More>>

February 11, 2011 WUSTL Newsroom

Lihong Wang, PhD, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has invented a guide star for biomedical rather than celestial imaging, a breakthrough that promises game-changing improvements in biomedical imaging and light therapy...More>>

February 11, 2011 J. Mater. Chem.

The team behind the research, led by Lihong Wang at Washington University in St Louis, US, say that the high photoacoustic sensitivity of plasmon-resonant nanostars at near-infrared wavelengths enables the in vivo detection in rat sentinel lymph nodes and vessels...More>>

January 24, 2011 Physics Today

Lihong Wang and colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a new approach that combines time reversal with ultrasound, whose waves scatter weakly in biological tissue, to focus light to a controllable position...More>>

January 15, 2011 Ars Technica

Lihong Wang from Washington University presented some fantastic results on photoacoustic imaging in a plenary talk at the Physics of Quantum Electronics conference, bedazzling the audience with beautiful image after beautiful image...More>>

November 22, 2010 PhysOrg

See it for yourself: a new breakthrough in imaging technology using a combination of light and sound will allow health care providers to see microscopic details inside the body...More>>

August 11, 2010 Senior Journal

A new discovery may lead to a very early detection of melanomas, the most serious of skin cancers that kills thousands of male senior citizens every year...More>>

August 10, 2010 Newsroom

Melanoma is one of the less common types of skin cancer but it accounts for the majority of the skin cancer deaths (about 75 percent)...Two scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have developed technologies that together promise to solve this difficult problem...More>>

August 1, 2010 St. Louis Beacon

Now Washington University professors are developing techniques using Bell's photoacoustic effect. The new imaging technology being developed by Lihong Wang and his colleagues will identify the sentinel lymph node...More>>

Spring 2010 Engineering Momentum

Cover Story <10-15> “2003 is the magic number,” says Wang, Ph.D., now the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. “We published the first paper on functional imaging using photoacoustics. That excited everybody and attracted newcomers to the field.”...More>>

March 11, 2010 SPIE & OSA

BELLINGHAM, Washington, and WASHINGTON, D.C., USA -- Lihong V. Wang and Hsin-I Wu are recipients of the 2010 Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award (List of winners) for their book Biomedical Optics: Principles and Imaging, the Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE have announced...More>>

January 28, 2010 Siteman Cancer Center

Photoacoustic imaging combines light and sound to create detailed pictures of tiny structures in the body without the use of high-energy X-ray beams, which can be damaging. Unlike traditional radiology techniques, it also provides functional information about tissues and cells, with the ability to show blood flow and oxygen saturation...More>>

October 18, 2009 OCT News

Researchers from the Optical Imaging Laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis, led by Dr. Lihong Wang, have been very active developing techniques that combine photoacoustic microscopy and optical coherence tomography.  Combining sound and light imaging can provide several benefits including images at greater depths with complementary contrasts...More>>

June 11, 2009 MedicalPhysicsWeb

Nanotubes reveal breast cancer spread: Sentinel lymph-node biopsy is certainly less drastic than no-questions-asked underarm lymph-node dissection, but it is not without its disadvantages. Node identification typically involves injection of a gamma ray-emitting radiotracer and/or blue dye into the breast...More>>

June 4, 2009 Economist

The Sound of Light: If light passed through objects, rather than bouncing off them, people might now talk to each other on “photophones”. Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated such a device in 1880, transmitting a conversation on a beam of light...More>>

May 13, 2009 SPIE

SPIE appoints Lihong Wang editor of 'Journal of Biomedical Optics': SPIE has announced the appointment of Lihong V. Wang of Washington University in St. Louis as editor of theJournal of Biomedical Optics effective 1 January 2010...More>>

April 30, 2009 MedicalPhysicsWeb

Photoacoustics sheds light on brain function: Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, (WUSTL) have used photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) to obtain high-resolution in vivo images of the mouse brain in response to differing oxygen levels...More>>

March 2009 Nature Photonics

Sounding out photons: Bouncing light off biological tissue has become a mainstay of modern medical imaging and microscopy...More>>

Jan. 13, 2009 Washington University in St. Louis

Novel technique changes lymph node biopsy, reduces radiation exposure in breast cancer patients: Ultrasonography and MRI are increasingly being used as complementary modalities for breast-cancer diagnosis...More>>

Jan. 2009 Photonics Spectra

Harnessing Light and Sound for Staging of Breast Cancer: Only recently developed for imaging of tissue, photoacoustic tomography now is racing headlong toward clinical implementation...More>>

Dec. 2008 BioPhotonics

Photoacoustic Imaging Gets Dynamic: Photoacoustic imaging offers tremendous potential for both research and clinical applications because it draws on the advantages of both spectroscopy and ultrasound imaging... More>>

June 24, 2008 MedicalPhysicsWeb

TAT/PAT: a new screening option? Information obtained from a new application of photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is worth its weight in gold to breast cancer patients...More>>

2006 Biophotonics

Researchers at the Texas A&M University have developed a new method for using the photoacoustic effect to create images. The technique allows for functional imaging of oxy and deoxyhemoglobin with an axial resolution of about 15 µm, a lateral resolution of 45 µm, and an imaging depth of 3 mm...More>>

2005 OPN

Medical imaging researchers are always trying to increase the resolution and penetration of their instruments, with the ultimate goal of achieving the same microscopic resolution in living tissue that can be obtained by biopsy, thus eliminating the often painful process of taking biopsy samples...More>>

2003 MedStar TV Report: Breast Thermoacoustic Tomography >> [14.1 MB]

Last updated 2017.
Send comments, suggestions to webmaster.
Copyright © 1999-2017
Caltech Optical Imaging Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.