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Photoacoustic Remote Sensing: A New Absorption-Based Microscopy for Assessment of Subcellular Structures

Presentation will begin: Wednesday, October 26, 2022 - 3:25 PM EDT
Presented by: Parsin H. Reza, University of Waterloo

Optical absorption is a desirable imaging contrast because a wide variety of biomedical and industrial targets absorb light, including RNA, DNA, blood, lipid, metals, and some gas molecules such as CO2 and ethylene. Photoacoustic (PA) techniques can provide a label-free (no external dyes) and direct measurement of optical absorption in deep scattering media (i.e., tissue). However, conventional PA architectures require physical acoustic coupling (i.e., contact using ultrasound gel) with the sample. In biomedical applications, open tissue contacts (i.e., surgery and wound healing) can cause pain, discomfort, and, potentially, infection.

In addition, for some industrial uses, such as nondestructive testing of sensitive materials, contact is not desirable. Photoacoustic remote sensing (PARS), however, allows noncontact methods due to a co-focused detection beam that measures changes directly at the source. And second-generation PARS allows this information to be rapidly acquired in one shot. Reza discusses the fundamentals of the PARS microscopy mechanism, its current progress, and its applications. He focuses the first part of his talk on the physics, challenges, and system developments of current PARS imaging systems. In the second part, he covers current progress in PARS and challenges in histology, including cancer margin assessment, ophthalmology (such as the diagnosis of blinding disease), and other promising fields.

About the presenter
Parsin H. RezaParsin Haji Reza, Ph.D., P.Eng., is an award-winning teacher, researcher, entrepreneur, and the inventor of photoacoustic remote sensing (PARS) microscopy. He is a co-founder of illumiSonics Inc., where he was CEO from 2014 to 2018. He is currently the company’s CTO and chairman of the board. He leads all scientific research and technology development and oversees major company decisions and policies. Under Reza’s leadership, illumiSonics raised private investments and attracted notable individuals and international companies. He joined the University of Waterloo in April 2018 as an assistant professor in biomedical engineering. He has since received the university’s Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Performance Award (2020), the Engineering Research Excellence Award (2021), and the Outstanding Performance Award (2022).


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