Researchers in the Optical Imaging and Dosimetry Lab perform studies in a wide variety of optical methods in medical physics. Topics include:
FLASH radiation therapy
Radiotherapy at ultra-high dose rate (FLASH) can potentially better spare healthy tissues while maintaining the same therapeutic effect on cancerous tumors. We are working on developing a robust platform for delivery, dosimetry, and mechanistic study of proton FLASH radiotherapy.
Super-resolution optical microscopy
Light microscopy is the most powerful and versatile investigation techniques in life and material sciences; however, the spatial resolution of any standard microscope is fundamentally limited by the diffraction of light waves. Surpassing the diffraction-limit would have a profound impact on many fields, such as medical and material sciences, microfluidics, and nanophotonics, and therefore has been the subject of intense research effort. Several imaging techniques based on near-field scanning probes and various fluorescent-based techniques have been developed in the past to overcome the diffraction-limit. These techniques, however, have a complex design and high economic cost, and require dedicated equipment. The overall objective of this project is to use unique advantages provided by high refractive index dielectric microspheres embedded in a background transparent medium, such as an elastomeric layer, for developing science and technology of novel low-cost multi-purpose optical devices for ultra-high resolution microscopic imaging with two- to three-fold resolution improvement. These advantages include achieving sub-diffraction-limited focusing of light that is essential for applications in high-resolution optical imaging and sensing, as well as other areas such as photolithography, fluorescent and Raman spectroscopies, and photovoltaics. Our technique can be combined with standard white-light wide-field, confocal, fluorescent, two-photon, and other microscopy techniques to enhance the imaging resolution.
Fiber optics radioluminescence dosimetry
Radioluminescence of materials, emission of light when irradiated with ionizing radiation, has attracted intense research effort for a myriad of applications in molecular imaging, radiation detection, radiotherapy quality assurance, and so on. We are studying radioluminescent properties of plastic and glass fiber materials, as well as organic and inorganic scintillators, for developing science and technology of novel high spatial resolution dosimeters for radiation therapy applications, specifically for proton therapy quality assurance. We are also working toward developing high-resolution dosimeters using conventional solid-core and specialty fiber optics for small field and in vivo dosimetry.