wang_lihong

Lihong Wang, PhD

Gene K Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Functional and molecular imaging by non-ionizing electromagnetic and ultrasonic waves Read More

Email: lhwang@biomed.wustl.edu
Lab Phone: (314) 935-6152
Website: Wang Lab
Lab Location:
Keywords: breast imaging, photoacoustic tomography

Functional and molecular imaging by non-ionizing electromagnetic and ultrasonic waves

In the Wang Lab we develop photoacoustic imaging technologies for in vivo early-cancer detection and functional imaging by physically combining non-ionizing electromagnetic and ultrasonic waves. Unlike ionizing x-ray radiation, non-ionizing electromagnetic waves, such as optical and radio waves, pose no health hazard and, at the same time, reveal new contrast mechanisms. Unfortunately, electromagnetic waves in the non-ionizing spectral region do not penetrate biological tissue in straight paths as x-rays do. Consequently, high-resolution tomography based on non-ionizing electromagnetic waves alone, as demonstrated by confocal microscopy and two-photon microscopy as well as optical coherence tomography, is limited to superficial imaging within about one optical transport mean free path (~1 mm in the skin) of the surface of biological tissue. Ultrasonic imaging, on the contrary, provides good image resolution but has strong speckle artifacts as well as poor contrast in early-stage tumors. We have developed ultrasound-mediated imaging modalities by combining electromagnetic and ultrasonic waves synergistically to overcome the above limitations. The hybrid modalities provide relatively deep penetration at high ultrasonic resolution and yield speckle-free images with high electromagnetic contrast.

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