One of the prime limiting factors of optical imaging in biological applications is the diffusion of light by tissue, which prevents focusing at depths greater than the optical diffusion limit (typically ∼1 mm). To overcome this challenge, wavefront shaping techniques that use a spatial light modulator (SLM) to correct the phase of the incident wavefront have recently been developed. These techniques are able to focus light through scattering media beyond the optical diffusion limit. However, the low speeds of typically used liquid crystal SLMs limit the focusing speed. Here, we present a method using a digital micromirror device (DMD) and an electro-optic modulator (EOM) to measure the scattering-induced aberrations, and using a liquid crystal SLM to apply the correction to the illuminating wavefront. By combining phase modulation from an EOM with the DMD’s ability to provide selective illumination, we exploit the DMD’s higher refresh rate for phase measurement. We achieved focusing through scattering media in less than 8 ms, which is sufficiently short for certain in vivo applications, as it is comparable to the speckle correlation time of living tissue.
Optical diffusion in scattering media prevents focusing beyond shallow depths, causing optical imaging and sensing to suffer from low optical intensities, resulting in low signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). Here, we demonstrate focusing using a fast binary-amplitude digital micromirror device to characterize the transmission modes of the scattering medium. We then identify and selectively illuminate the transmission modes which contribute constructively to the intensity at the optical focus. Applying this method to photoacoustic flowmetry, we increased the optical intensity at the focus six-fold, and showed that the corresponding increase in SNR allows particle flow to be measured.
To achieve localized light delivery beyond turbid layers, TRUE optical focusing has been previously implemented by both analog and digital devices. The digital scheme offers a higher energy gain than the analog version. In many biological applications, the reflection-mode configuration, which uses backscattered light from the sample, is more suitable than the transmission-mode configuration. Although reflection-mode analog TRUE focusing has been demonstrated, its digital implementation has not been explored. Here, we report a reflection-mode digital TRUE focusing to concentrate light through a turbid layer. Further, by simply moving the ultrasound focus, we show the system's dynamic focusing capability.
Wavefront distortion in scattering media can be compensated for using optical wavefront shaping. In this technique, a spatial light modulator (SLM) is used to apply a spatially distributed phase shift to the optical field. A genetic optimization algorithm was used to obtain the SLM pattern which best focuses light within the medium. The target volume is defined by using a focused ultrasound beam to encode light travelling within the acoustic focus. The ultrasonically-encoded light is measured and used as feedback to the algorithm, which then searches for the pattern which maximizes the encoded light intensity. We call this technique ultrasonically-encoded wavefront shaping (SEWS). Using SEWS, we focused light into a scattering medium consisting of ground glass diffuser and a gelatin phantom. The optical intensity at the target was increased by 11 times over the original intensity. These results were validated using fluorescent imaging at the ultrasonic focus.
Controllable light delivery to the region of interest is essential to biomedical optical imaging methods like photoacoustic microscopy. It is, however, challenging beyond superficial depths in biological tissue (~1 mm beneath human skin) due to the strong scattering of light that scrambles the photon propagation paths. Recently, optical wavefront shaping has been proposed to modulate the incident light wavefront to compensate for the scattering-induced phase distortions, and consequentially, convey light optimally to a desired location behind or inside turbid media. To reach an optimum wavefront, a searching algorithm is usually required to optimize a feedback signal. In this work, we present our latest explorations, which use photoacoustic signals as the feedback to remotely and non-invasively guide the wavefront shaping process. Our method does not require direct optical access to the target region or the invasive embedding of fluorescence probes inside turbid media. Experimentally, we have demonstrated that diffuse light can be converged to the ultrasound focus by maximizing the amplitude of photoacoustic emissions from the intended absorbing site. Moreover, we show that wavefront-shaped light focusing can enhance existing optical imaging modalities like photoacoustic microscopy, in regard to signal-to-noise ratio, imaging depth, and potentially, resolution.
We demonstrate the optical detection of ultrasound using spectral hole burning in a cryogenic rare earth ion
doped crystal. The dispersion due to the hole is used to perform phase to amplitude modulation conversion.
This method allows sensitive detection of ultrasonic displacements with the advantage of large étendue. This
method is also attractive as it requires only moderate absorption contrast to achieve high sensitivity. We also
describe a method for diode laser stabilisation using optical feedback through spectral holes which dramatically
reduces the laser phase noise.
This paper examines the fundamental resolution limit of particle positioning with optical tweezers due to the
combined effects of Brownian motion and optical shotnoise. It is found that Brownian motion dominates at low
signal frequencies, whilst shotnoise dominates at high frequencies, with the exact crossover frequency varying
by many orders of magnitude depending on experimental parameters such as particle size and trapping beam
power. These results are significant both for analysis of the bandwidth limits of particle monitoring with optical
tweezers and for enhancements of optical tweezer systems based on non-classical states of light.