Integrative Imaging

Ultrasonic shear wave depicted as bands of orange and blue

The Integrative Imaging research theme is dedicated to bringing together ideas, modalities, and people in imaging to foster the interdisciplinary discovery of fundamental principles in imaging science.

Stephen Boppart
Zhi-Pei Liang

Imaging is pervasive. As the volume of data in the sciences, engineering, medicine, entertainment, the arts, and society continues to grow, images have become the most efficient means by which we receive and transfer information. Whether we collect and display meteorological or astronomical images from satellites, interpret functional and anatomical images of the human body, ponder photographs and paintings, view video clips of our lives and society, or represent data in charts or figures, images and imaging serve an essential role in our lives, and how we interpret and understand the world around us.

The Integrative Imaging research theme includes an interdisciplinary group of faculty conducting research in imaging science, technology, and application. We are interested in the science of imaging, how data can be collected, processed, assembled, and presented as an image, how it may be visualized, and how it may be interpreted. We are interested in imaging technology, the innovation, design, engineering, investigation, and optimization of imaging instruments and methods to translate the data into images. Finally, we are interested in the application of imaging for new methods, techniques, and tools to further research and fundamental discovery across all fields of inquiry.

As examples, we are developing new science and novel techniques and instrumentation for biomedical imaging, including fast and efficient x-ray computed tomography algorithms, quantitative ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, nuclear imaging, optical and molecular imaging, acoustic radiation force shear wave imaging, and multi-modality imaging, the preparation of materials for fabricating imaging contrast agents, genetically-encoded reporters based on fluorescent resonance energy transfer, tracking stem cells, and detecting ultrastructural changes in skeletal muscle due to muscular dystrophy, to name just a few.

Imaging is not only pervasive, but also diverse, and the ability to pull diverse groups together is what drives our theme. Imagine if you will, sitting in your doctor’s office and your doctor is looking at images of you. He or she has the ability to look at a digital x-ray and finds a concerning spot that needs investigation. With a tap and a swipe of a finger, previous 3-D MRI and CT images appear and rotate as image features and contrast mechanisms are integrated to optimize visualization and identification. After further gestures, size scales change to the cellular and molecular level as histological data is displayed, and genetic expression maps are superimposed over the cellular architecture. In parallel, networks of image databases are being searched for matching image features, and these correlating images appear, as do graphs and figures of statistics from clinical studies. The process of integrating data and images begins to converge to a diagnosis. Imaging is pervasive, and our ability to fully capture, integrate, understand, manage, and utilize this wealth of information is the challenge we now face.

Integrative Imaging Research Groups

Bioacoustics Research Laboratory
The researchers in Bioacoustics Research Laboratory deal with the interaction of ultrasound with biological materials and ultrasound imaging in biology and medicine.Interaction studies include measurements of the properties of tissues that affect ultrasonic propagation, determination of levels for biological effects and the mechanisms responsible; ultrasound exposure measurements and dosimetry studies; and the development of ultrasound systems for specific applications, such as high-frequency imaging, hyperthermia treatment, high-intensity surgery, and tissue characterization in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
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Bioimaging Science and Technology
The Bioimaging Science and Technology Group was formed in 2006 to bring together researchers from Engineering, Physics, Chemistry and Life Sciences that are interested in new imaging technologies and methods to further our understanding of biological mechanisms of human diseases.
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