Wavefront Shaping: Astronomical Techniques for Clearer Medical Imaging

Wavefront Shaping Through Scattering Media

Researchers at Caltech’s Department of Medical Engineering have made significant progress in medical imaging by using wavefront shaping inspired by astronomy. Wavefront shaping is a method used to correct optical distortion caused by the Earth’s atmosphere in astronomical imaging. Similar to the Earth’s atmosphere, biological tissue also scatters light, making microscopic images of blood vessels, nerves, and cancer cells appear distorted. Credit: Caltech

Caltech researchers have advanced medical imaging by adapting wavefront shaping techniques from astronomy to counteract distortion caused by biological tissue. Using a “magic mirror” photo-refractive crystal, the team achieved high-speed, high-energy gain, and high control degrees of freedom, potentially improving cancer detection below the skin.

Researchers in Caltech’s Andrew and Peggy Cherng Department of Medical Engineering have made a major step forward in medical imaging by taking inspiration from the field of astronomy.

The paper describing this research was recently published in DOI: 10.1038/s41566-022-01142-4

Funding for the research was provided by the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH).

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