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Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2017

Author's School

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Author's Department

Biomedical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



In the recent years, many optical and biomedical imaging technologies have achieved ground-breaking performance by employing computational methods in the image formation, processing, and rendering procedures. Examples span from stochastic super resolution microscopy to sparse magnetic resonance imaging. When synergistically combined with innovative designs in imaging hardware, computational image formation and processing methods can enable imaging systems that can achieve unprecedented performances. Among the many imaging modalities, photoacoustic imaging (PAI) and compressed ultrafast photography (CUP) are of particular interest, due to their great potential in imaging deep tissue with optical contrast and imaging ultrafast, non-repetitive phenomena, respectively. This dissertation describes a number of advances I helped make in the field of optical and photoacoustic imaging using computational methods.

In Chapter 1, I begin by introducing the background of both photoacoustic imaging and compressed ultrafast photography. I, then, move on to the motivation of applying more computational methods to both modalities.

Chapter 2 focuses on my work in photoacoustic imaging. I first propose to improve the axial resolution and resolution isotropy of optical resolution photoacoustic microscopy using nonlinear photoacoustic phenomena and multi-view deconvolution. Then, my solution to the limited view problem and poor lateral resolution of linear array-based photoacoustic computed tomography, via multi-view fusion, is described. Furthermore, a photoacoustic computed tomography system capable of single-impulse, panoramic imaging is introduced. I also describe several quantitative studies enabled by this system and the image processing methods I developed. Finally, the image reconstruction method for a low-cost, acoustic ergodic relay-based photoacoustic imaging system is introduced.

In Chpater 3, the recent advances in compressed ultrafast photography is described. I first dive into the physical and mathematically principles of CUP. A novel reconstruction algorithm utilizing an external static view, which was developed to improve the image quality of CUP, then follows. The lossless encoding CUP system and reconstruction method is detailed later, and its application to the observation of a photonic Mach cone is described. Lastly, I demonstrate the most recent upgrade of CUP to the femtosecond regime and our observation of the temporal focusing of a single femtosecond laser pulse.

The short Chapter 4 describes a small project I conducted in improving the optical sectioning of light sheet fluorescence microscopy, in which we utilized the photobleaching imprint signal to extract high-order fluorescence responses of the object to from a thin optical section with a large field of view.

Chapter 5 summarizes this dissertation and discusses some future directions regarding applying computational methods to PAI, CUP, and other optical and biomedical imaging modalities.


English (en)


Lihong V. Wang

Committee Members

Samuel Achilefu, Mark Anastasio, Joseph Culver, Lan Yang,


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