The goal of this project is to develop and validate a new biomedical imaging technology based on Brillouin light scattering for non-invasively measuring the biomechanical and rheological properties of tissues, cells, and biomaterials. Spontaneous Brillouin scattering arises from the interaction of light and sound wave that is inherently present in a sample. By detecting the spectral shifts in the scattered light, which are in the order of 10 GHz, the sample’s hypersonic viscoelastic properties can be measured at microscopic spatial resolution without physical contact. Brillouin spectroscopy has long been known in material physics and environmental sensing. However, its potential applications in biological sciences and clinical medicine have not been fully explored. We have recently developed a highly efficient spectrometer and demonstrated the possibility of in vivo Brillouin imaging. We aim to develop new practical instruments and validate them for a number of potential applications. Brillouin imaging has a potential to be a useful diagnostic tool in ophthalmology for early detection and screening of various lens and corneal problems, such as presbyopia, cataracts, and corneal ectasia. This technology may also be useful in the study of cellular biomechanics in cancer and tissue engineering.
- Brillouin biomechanical microscopy