Rice professor to give talk on next-gen optical bioimaging devices Monday

Tomasz Tkaczyk, assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University, will give a talk Monday (Sept. 27) at 4:10 p.m. in Room 106 of the Jack E. Brown Engineering Building at Texas A&M University.Tkaczyk's talk, Development of Next Generation of Optical Bio‐imaging Devices: Miniature Digital Imaging Systems and New Multi‐Dimensional Imaging Modalities," is part of the Department of Biomedical Engineering's seminar series.Abstract Optical Microscopy is one of the most important experimental tools in biology. This presentation will provide an overview of the next generation of optical‐biomedical devices which leverage advances in optical microfabrication and detector technology. Using these approaches, it is possible to reduce the size and cost of imaging systems without compromising optical performance and to integrate new multidimensional imaging modalities.I will first discuss my group's research to miniaturize imaging systems for medical diagnostics. We are developing and adapting state‐of‐the‐art technologies in optics, optomechanics, electronics and software to yield cost effective, high throughput optical systems. Traditional optics fabrication techniques allow the production of high performance optical systems (e.g., modern, high NA microscope objectives); such systems, however, are usually expensive and difficult for broad, high‐volume implementation. While these approaches have led to benchtop microscopes with excellent performance, it is not trivial to develop cost-effective, high-performance miniature optical systems with equivalent quality and operating parameters.We have developed entirely new design and assembly approaches (zero‐alignment concept) to reduce the size and the cost of such systems by more than two orders of magnitude without compromising optical performance. We are using these methods to develop new fiber optics multiple field of view endoscopes and endomicroscopes and integrated optical needle systems for early cancer detection. These devices are also being validated for point-of-care applications and detection of infectious diseases. We developed, for example, a cost‐effective ($10‐$100 estimated price tag, depending on volume), self‐aligning imaging system, a water immersion NA = 1.0, 3.9 mm diameter microscope objective for cancer detection and ultra slim needle prototypes (NA = 0.4, clear aperture 0.8 mm) reaching diffraction imaging performance and validated for imaging with two photon and second harmonic generation modes. Another interesting example is fully integrated (microscope on a chip) multimodal‐miniature microscope incorporating optics, actuators, and detectors in the endoscope tip.I will also discuss our efforts to develop novel data acquisition and processing tools for new multidimensional imaging modalities. Traditional imaging usually directly yields an intensity distribution across the object, I(x,y). In many biological applications, it is important to also capture spectral information at each point in the image, i.e., one can obtain I(x,y) data. This spectral information can provide crucial insight about biochemical processes occurring in the individual cells or tissue by allowing for multiplexed imaging that follows multiple molecules and their interactions.State‐of‐the‐art systems (like commercial confocal spectral imaging instruments) often use sequential scanning to build images point by point (or line by line). The spectrum is resolved using line of photo‐multiplier tubes or CCD cameras. Scanning approach however limits temporal resolution and often leads to photobleaching. To follow molecular events with finer temporal and spectral resolution decrease photobleaching effects my lab has developed fully parallel imaging approach, which can acquire an entire I(x,y) data set in a single, brief snapshot. The system called Image Mapping reorganizes images on a large format CCD/CMOS and allows efficient and fast, spatial‐spectral acquisition without scanning.We have already validated system for multilabeled cells (YFP,CFP,GFP) and are currently adapting this technique for numerous biological and medical applications like neuron signaling or endoscopic in‐vivo cancer imaging. In addition this concept might be further extended to simultaneous detection of multiple molecular probes (10+) or expanded to other imaging dimensions (for example depth, polarization etc.).Bio Tomasz Tkaczyk specializes in the development of modern optical instruments that combine advanced technologies in optics, opto-mechanics, electronics and software, and biochemical materials for the early detection and treatment of diseases, such as cancer.Tkaczyk's basic, applied, and translational research is leading to the development of new imaging technologies that are compact, robust, portable, inexpensive, and adaptable to mass production. The compact optical imaging systems are ideal for point-of-care diagnostics in various clinical settings around the world.Tkaczyk is the principal investigator (PI) on a recently awarded NIH R01research project to build and test an advanced dual-functioning medical instrument called the Bi-FOV Endoscope. The five-year investigator-initiated project involves several institutions and three subcontractors for the development of an integrated optical needle that works with contrast agents to provide real-time cancer detection. The endoscope is part of another ongoing project in which Tkaczyk serves as a co-principal investigator in the fabrication and testing of optical and mechanical technologies, such as miniaturized optics, micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) components, and low-cost, high-performance and modern-fabrication technologies. The joint efforts with collaborators at Rice University and the University of Arizona have enabled new platform technologies or methods not possible five or even 10 years ago, and are currently in clinical trials.Through the support of an NIH R21 grant, Tkaczyk is working as a PI for the development of a snapshot hyperspectral imaging system that can be combined with molecular microscopy and medical diagnostics tools. The system will be capable of capturing entire images and spectral signature in one integrated step without scanning. A provisional patent application for this technology has already been submitted. This new technology has potential of becoming breakthrough modality for spectral imaging in many applications.Tkaczyk is author of 21 peer-reviewed publications, serves as editor and reviewer for several scientific journals, is the author of a new textbook titled Field Guide to Microscopy, a book chapter in the Handbook of Optics on Miniature and Micro-Optics, and more than 20 invited conference papers. He has also presented results of his investigations at 12 invited lectures both in the U.S. and abroad.He is the recipient of the Rice University Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering's Medical Innovations Award (2008), a Global Health Technologies award (2008) to develop high-throughput microscopy platform technologies that analyze several thousand cells in real time for the detection of tuberculosis, a John S. Dunn Research Foundation award to adapt the endoscopic technologies and build a high-resolution endoscope that images the intricate workings of the inner ear in vivo (2009), and a Becton-Dickinson Professional Achievement Award by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (2010).