RESEARCH:

Currently we are pursuing the following research topics:

  • Integrated endo-microscopes for early cancer detection. Our efforts include optical design, fabrication, assembly and imaging using miniature systems that are compatible with endoscopic tubes. High resolution imaging combined with bio-chemical contrast agents like gold nanoparticles or quantum dots deliver information about the early stage of the disease. To assure wide applicability of instruments they have to be inexpensive and easy to use.
  • Inexpensive detection platform for point-of-care diagnosis. This project is based on the design and manufacturing of a universal miniature optical table using inexpensive, but high precision technologies. The goal is to obtain a versatile testing platform for imaging and spectroscopy that will enable wide access for infectious diseases screening. Examples of instruments may include arrays of imaging systems or lab-on-a-chip integrated devices (including optics, actuators, microfluidics, and electronics). The technology is dedicated for rural sites or developing countries without testing resources.
  • Snapshot imaging spectrometry. The focus of this project is to develop a hyperspectral camera which can work with a variety of imaging instruments (coupled with microscopes, endoscopes etc) and acquires the entire image spectrum in one integration step. One of our requirements is to minimize post-processing of data by obtaining information directly through proper system design.
  • Increasing the throughput of imaging systems. This project has two aspects (1) increase spatial resolution of the system beyond optical limits and (2) relax optical resolution requirements to increase Field of View (FOV) - the spatial resolution is received back through reconstruction process. Several concepts can be used to obtain super-resolution including synthetic apertures, structured illumination or spectral encoding. We will investigate these options together with application of phase information and new contrast agents.
  • New optical assembly and fabrication technologies. A significant part of our research is based on high precision fabrication and assembly for integrated miniature optical instruments. Therefore, we are constantly searching for new fabrication/assembly technologies and new optical and opto-mechanical materials. Modern technologies give us new capabilities not possible in more classical approaches. For example grayscale lithography with solgel allows us to build a new class of optical instruments (arbitrary surfaces) not restricted to rotational symmetry. Additionally it is a perfect technology for mass production using processing similar to that applied in electronics. On the other hand, solgel technology demands constant material advancements to enable building higher power or color corrected.