IDBR: Type A: Directly Integratable Photoacoustic Microscopy with Established Optical Microscopy for Comprehensive Sub-cellular Biological Imaging

Project: Research project

Project Details


This is a TYPE A proposal to develop a photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) technology platform that is compatible with commercial optical microscopes. The purpose is to make PAM, the fastest growing functional optical microscopic modality, more accessible to the vast majority of biological researchers who are already using advanced optical microscopy in their daily research. The proposed PAM can either be used independently for label-free volumetric imaging or be integrated with confocal/two-photon microscopes for comprehensive multimodal imaging. Once developed, the proposed technology will benefit biological investigations that require quantitative imaging of, for example, tissue hemodynamic functions, interactions of a cell and its microenvironment, cell/tissue development, and for drug evaluation. PAM holds promise to greatly enhance the imaging capability for current biological research beyond what currently established optical microscopic imaging technologies can do. Despite this great promise, PAM can be performed only by a very limited number of research groups in the US, which is mainly because the existing PAM systems are incompatible with commercial optical microscopes and none of the major microscope manufacturers are marketing it. Since PAM cannot be made as an add-on module to commercial microscopes, researchers have to construct their own systems in order to use PAM. However, for biological researchers, building such an advanced optical assembly is far beyond their capacity. To make PAM broadly accessible, we tackle the incompatibility issue by developing novel “cover-slide style” optical micro-ring resonator ultrasound detectors that can easily convert a commercial laser-scanning microscope to use PAM.
Effective start/end date4/15/143/31/18


  • National Science Foundation (DBI-1353952)


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