The University of Waterloo:
At Waterloo, education in engineering is a cornerstone serving as one of the top 50 engineering schools worldwide. Within Canada, the University of Waterloo is the largest engineering school. For 28 years in a row UW was ranked Canada’s most innovative university, 2nd best overall university in the country and 3rd in Canada for highest quality. In a survey run my Maclean’s containing result from 24,000 university students, UW was ranked #1 for career preparation. From QS Graduate Employability Rankings, Waterloo was deemed #2 in Canada. We hold the #1 spot for Canada’s most comprehensive research university of the past 11 years, including being the best in Canada for hands-on, experiential learning. In 2018, one of Waterloo’s own won the Nobel Prize in Physics; Professor Donna Strickland was the third woman in history to revive the prestigious honour. With more than 50,000 university and college students, one of the youngest populations in Canada, and internationally-recognized think tanks, Waterloo Region is a great place to study and live!
Welcome to the PhotoMedicine Labs in the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. PhotoMedicine Labs currently consists of four laboratories (Discovery Lab, Imaging Lab, In-vivo Lab and Pre-clinical lab) focusing on cutting-edge research in biomedical engineering and biophotonics, including non-invasive non-contact optical imaging methods, micro-endoscopy designs, handheld and portable medical imaging techniques, design and fabrication of nano-structured sensors, image processing, Machine Learning methods, Capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers, and novel deep optical imaging tomography methods. We pursue applications in Ophthalmology, Oncology, Dermatology, Neurology, Cardiology, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical, and Pre-clinical research.
Our group continually strives to maintain an extremely dynamic, respectful, intellectual, fun, and creative environment. We are passionate about our research and enjoy working together as a team. Our goal is to make a difference and contribute to our society. We understand that this requires hard work, knowledge, creativity, teamwork, efficiency, honesty, and focus. Our vision is to bring talents and good ideas together. We strongly value the importance of interdisciplinary research, collaboration, and ethics.
Our research philosophy is transitional research from bench to the bedside. Therefore, we are always looking to collaborate with talented students, faculties, researchers, clinicians, and industry.
Photoacoustic Remote Sensing (PARS) microscopy
Similar to ultrasound imaging, traditional photoacoustic imaging systems require a coupling media, such as water or ultrasound gel, in between the ultrasound detector and the sample. This limits the use of these imaging systems in several clinical applications including wound healing, burn diagnostics, surgery, brain imaging, and many other endoscopic procedures where physical contact is impractical or undesirable as it may cause further damage or infection.There are also significant depth limitations to cellular-resolution, optically-focused, bio-microscopy which are hampering our ability to unravel cellular information at depths beyond ~1mm in living subjects. Development of a non-contact deep cellular-resolution PA is essential for many clinical and pre-clinical applications.
We recently pioneered a new technique (Photoacoustic Remote Sensing - PARS) that allows photoacoustic imaging without the need for any coupling media. This technique uses all-optical detection to remotely detect the photoacoustic signals through air and is capable of providing real-time imaging with cellular resolution. To achieve this, we use two laser beams at different wavelengths. One is visible light used to generate the signal, while the other is near-infrared invisible light used to detect the signal. The energy of these beams are very low and not harmful to tissue.
PARS can provide breath-taking images of blood vessels down to the capillary level and can even visualize individual red blood cells in real-time. PARS is also capable of visualizing physiologically important parameters such as the oxygen saturation of blood vessels and can be used to distinguish arteries and veins. This is important for various disease including cancer, diabetes, and ischemia. We believe that this technology will have significant impact in visualizing and understanding cancer biology, as well, impacting dermatological application and even enabling functional brain imaging.
For more information check out our website: https://www.photomedicinelabs.com/