Imaging and Biophotonics


Our research in imaging and optics takes ultrasound, MRI, and other imaging technologies in new directions which include the treatment and identification of disease and promoting growth. Michigan is an innovator in therapeutic ultrasound. Histotripsy, an extremely high-precision technique that uses ultrasound in non-invasive surgery, was invented here.



What We Do:

  • Probing the composition and properties of tissues
  • Treating disease
  • Stimulating growth




  • Treatment of newborn infants
  • Treatment of diseases such as cancer and heart disease
  • Diagnosis and non- invasive examination

Relevant Research from BME Faculty

















Dr. Xueding Wang – Medical Imaging for Human Inflammatory Arthritis


Our research demonstrated that photoacoustic imaging (PAI) system, by revealing vascular features suggestive of joint inflammation, could be a valuable supplement to musculoskeletal ultrasound (US). LED-based PAI system integrated with a B-scan US enabling PA-US dual-modality imaging was employed in this study on human inflammatory arthritis. The increased blood volume in the joint space can be detected with excellent contrast-to-noise ratio.The images from clinically active arthritis, subclinically active arthritis and normal groups were compared and statistically analyzed. PAI results were also compared with those from US Doppler imaging to explore the potential advantages of this novel imaging technology over existing modalities.



























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Dr. Zhen Xu – Histotripsy for Image-guided non-invasive Surgery

Invented at the University of Michigan, histotripsy is the first imaged-guided ablation technique that is non-invasive, non-ionizing, and non-thermal. Guided by real-time imaging, microsecond ultrasound pulses applied from outside the body are focused to the target tissue. Cavitation is generated to disrupt the target tissue into an liquid-appearing acellular homogenate, without damaging off-target tissue. Histotripsy is currently investigated for cancer, cardiovascular, and brain applications.

















Left: The histotripsy ultrasound transducer with 256 elements that was treating through an excised human skullcap. This transducer is made with rapid prototyping (3D printing) in Dr. Xu’s lab and is the most powerful ultrasound transducer in the world. Middle: Histology of histotripsy-generated ablation boundary in the porcine cardiac tissue showing bisection of individual cells. Cellular structures treated by histotripsy are completed disrupted. Right: “M” shaped liver ablation zone generated by histotripsy is seen clearly on an ultrasound image.





























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Dr. Joan Greve – Precision Approaches in Preclinical Studies

It is estimated that one in twenty persons in the United States will experience deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in their lifetime. Treatment for DVT is frequently inadequate, resulting in high rates of residual and recurrent disease, serious longterm complications, and estimated treatment costs of US$ billions annually. Precision medicine, applying the correct therapeutic to the correct patient at the correct time, seeks to classify patients into subpopulations based on characteristics which distinguish them from others with similar clinical presentations. By doing so, healthcare providers can maximize efficacy, minimize side effects, and ultimately reduce treatment costs. The goal of this project is to improve treatment approaches for DVT by developing multiparametric-MRI (the integration of datasets encompassing several MRI properties) in preclinical models of DVT to quantify disease phenotype and its relationship to differential therapeutic response. In vivo methods that can non-invasively quantify thrombus characteristics such as size, composition, blood flow via recanalization, and surrounding collateral vein formation are critical for understanding how an individual thrombus responds to a specific therapy. (Collaboration with Dr. Jose A. Diaz and Olivia Palmer)






























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Find a Researcher :


Associated core (and key) BME Faculty: