Laboratory of Optical Bioimaging and Spectroscopy

Deep Tissue Imaging Platform

One of the major challenges in biomedical imaging is to visualize deep in an intact tissue with desired cellular resolution. Optical microscopy is still the only method for in situ imaging at a sub-micrometer scale.

Our study discovered that light at certain near-infrared (NIR) regions would significantly increase the tissue imaging depth. Specifically, the highest imaging depth is reached at the “Golden Window” (window III, 1600-1870 nm), with the maximum transmittance (percentage of light passes through the tissue) and minimum absorbance (percentage of light absorbed in the tissue), which is superior to windows I (650-950 nm), II (1100-1350 nm) and IV (centered at 2200 nm).

We are developing novel deep tissue imaging technologies for different imaging modalities such as SRS and MPF microscopy to obtain a better understanding of the structural functional interactions in biological systems.

We are developing a novel isotope-probed multiplex stimulated Raman scattering (ipm-SRS) microscopy imaging platform for visualizing deep tissue metabolism and drug delivery in living organisms. It combines (1) bioorthogonal labeling to examine the uptake and synthesis activity in tissues, and (2) label-free SRS and MPF of endogenous signals to examine cell structure, chemical composition, and biomolecular trafficking.

We developed a new nonlinear process - enhanced stimulated Raman scattering (ESRS) that proposes a new promising approach for improving SRS signals.

Above imaging tools allow us to conduct metabolic imaging on cells, tissues, live animals, and more.

​Cells organize to form intricate 3D biological structures that are closely related to their physiological functions. It is critical to assess their structural and functional correlations at an organ-wide scale when study metabolic activities.

​Large-scale volumetric SRS imaging techniques are necessary for in-depth understanding of whole-organ metabolic heterogeneity. A new and effective tissue-clearing approach is also required that is compatible with SRS imaging and can better reveal morphogenesis and chemical changes in normal and pathological conditions.

​We are also developing and applying a tissue clearing assisted general optical microscopy platform for volumetric SRS imaging that can visualize both the chemical composition and the metabolic activities in large-scale biological specimens.