Our laboratory is focused on development of new non-invasive functional and molecular imaging methods that can broadly impact pre-clinical research and clinical practice by delivering information presently not attainable with existing state-of-the-art imaging modalities.
bioengineering, functional and molecular imaging, optoacoustics, microscopy
Our work is motivated by the urge to study life in its unperturbed in vivo environment, which is essential for understanding the complex skin biology, disease state and progression. The multi-level biological interactions are difficult to predict or understand by making observations at a single spatial or temporal scale. Therefore, we are particularly interested in development of new imaging paradigms based on a variety of approaches (optoacoustics, functional ultrasonography, fluorescence microscopy, diffuse optics, optical coherence tomography, magnetic resonance imaging) to enable multi-scale observations with unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution and deep penetration into living intact organisms.
Our group pioneered the multi-spectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT) technique that uses pulses of light at different wavelengths, in a time-shared fashion, where the wavelengths are selected to sample a certain spectral characteristic in the absorption spectrum of intrinsic tissue chromophores (e.g. hemoglobin, melanin, lipids, water, collagen) or extrinsic reporter agents. We have demonstrated the clinical use of MSOT for label-free handheld dermatologic imaging applications, including real-time 3D functional mapping of pilosebaceous unit, non-melanoma skin cancers, and basal cell carcinomas.
As part of the SKINTEGRITY.CH consortium, our group is also working on developing and disseminating the large-scale optoacoustic microscopy (LSOM) techniques, which enabled rapid, non-invasive, volumetric in-vivo imaging of skin regeneration over large areas spanning up to 50 mm. To this end, LSOM has provided previously undocumented insights into the angiogenesis process and microvascular alterations in an unperturbed wound environment, further validating efficacy of experimental skin regeneration compounds in promoting microcirculation and microvascular network density.
SKINTEGRITY.CH Principal Investigators are in bold: