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McKelvey School of Engineering

Brown School

Multi-contrast Photoacoustic Computed Tomography: Seeing Through Small-Animal Whole Body and Whole Brain at High Spatiotemporal Resolution

Thursday, August 25, 2022 | 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Virtual Event

Whole-body imaging has played an indispensable role in preclinical research by providing high-dimensional physiological, pathological, and phenotypic insights with clinical relevance. Yet, pure optical imaging suffers from either shallow penetration or a poor depth-to-resolution ratio, and non-optical techniques for whole-body imaging of small animals lack either spatiotemporal resolution or functional contrast. We have developed a dream machine, demonstrating that a stand-alone single-impulse panoramic photoacoustic computed tomography (SIP-PACT) mitigates these limitations by combining high spatiotemporal resolution, deep penetration, anatomical, dynamical and functional contrasts, and full-view fidelity. SIP-PACT has imaged in vivo whole-body dynamics of small animals in real time, mapped whole-brain functional connectivity, and tracked circulation tumor cells without labeling. It also has been scaled up for human breast cancer diagnosis. SIP-PACT opens a new window for medical researchers to test drugs and monitor longitudinal therapy without the harm from ionizing radiation associated with X-ray CT, PET, or SPECT. Genetically encoded photochromic proteins benefit photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) in detection sensitivity and specificity, allowing monitoring of tumor growth and metastasis, multiplexed imaging of multiple tumor types at depths, and real-time visualization of protein-protein interactions in deep-seated tumors.

Event Type

Seminar/Colloquia, Research


McKelvey School of Engineering


Science & Technology

Electrical & Systems Engineering
Speaker Information

Lei Li, PhD
Assistant Profesor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Rice University

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