Project TitleOptical and Acoustic Imaging for Healthcare Diagnostics
Track Code2013-088
Short Description

An optically transparent polymeric photonic resonator that enables low-noise, wide-band detection of the ultrasonic signals.

#healthcare #imaging #medicaldevice


Northwestern researchers have developed an optically transparent polymeric photonic resonator that enables low-noise, wide-band detection of the ultrasonic signals. It is fabricated on a thin transparent substrate, making it directly compatible with the conventional optical microscope for simultaneous optical and acoustic imaging. This technology overcomes two limitations of current technologies: (1) the relatively large packaging size; and (2) limited sensitivity. Some groups have attempted to use optical micro-ring resonator for ultrasonic detection; however, these resonators are fabricated on silicon, which causes many problems in photoacoustic imaging due to the opacity, rigidity, and strongly optical absorption. The Northwestern inventors envision a fully transparent ultrasonic transducer consisting of polymeric optical resonator on a transparent substrate to enable simultaneous optical and ultrasonic imaging of the biological samples. They are able to obtain optimal sensitivity by placing the optical resonator at the center of the illumination/excitation beam with minimal interference to the optical imaging process. With the state-of-the-art nanofabrication techniques, the fabrication of such optical-based ultrasonic transducers would have extremely low costs. Their system also leverages the coupled modes among multiple resonators, so that the need for the expensive narrow band laser source is eliminated, which enables the fully integrated transducer consisting of both active and passive photonic components.

TagsHEALTHCARE: imaging, MEDICAL DEVICE: imaging
Posted DateMar 18, 2014 11:32 AM


Hao Zhang*

Cheng Sun*


Imaging technology hardware


• Low costs for both the manufacturing process and flexible ultrasonic transducer
• A fully integrated design for optimal commercial application
• Use of optically transparent polymer materials that can be easily deformed by the incident ultrasonic pressure waves

• Magnification of resulting refractive index change into the measurable shift in the resonance modes, which enables low-noise, wide-band detection of the ultrasonic signals with a noise equivalent detectable pressure (NEDP) around tens of Pascals


IP Status

Issued US Patent No. 9,513,260

Contact Information

Dimitra Georganopoulou, PhD
Invention Manager

(p) 847.467.3095