Bioacoustics Research Laboratory

Purple stained biological material viewed under a microscope

The researchers in Bioacoustics Research Laboratory (BRL) deal with the interaction of ultrasound with biological materials and ultrasound imaging in biology and medicine.

Group Leader: William D. O'Brien
Support: Julie A. Ten Have

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.

Imaging studies include the development of flow and perfusion techniques (local blood brain perfusion); diffraction tomography; phase aberration assessment to improve image resolution; edge detection in speckle images and machine-dependent assessment of image features; acoustic microscopy (brain tissue contrast, for example); and tissue motion and elasticity techniques in cancer diagnosis. Results of these studies impact the use of ultrasound in clinical imaging for diagnosis and in therapeutic treatment or surgery and contribute to two of the Beckman Institute’s research themes: Biological Intelligence and Human-Computer Intelligent Interaction.


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