Dr. Jithin Jose

Business Development Manger
FujiFilm Visualsonics Inc.

Jithin Jose obtained his Master of Science degree in photonics from Center of excellence in lasers and optoelectronic science (CELOS), Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Kerala. India in 2007. His specialization was in the field of Biophotonics. From January 2008 to January 2012, he performed research towards his PhD thesis at Biomedical Photonic imaging (BMPI) group, University of Twente. The Netherlands, under the supervision of Prof. Ton van Leeuwen and Dr. Srirang Manohar. During his research he developed a Computed tomography (CT) photoacoustic imager to enable molecular imaging of tumors in small animals. He also has an extensive knowledge in the exogenous contrast agents such as gold nanorods used for photoacoustic imaging. During his thesis he collaborated with different groups and investigated the feasibility of translating photoacoustic imaging into clinical practice. He is the co-author of more than 10 refereed journal publications and maintains active research interest in the applications of photoacoustic imaging in pre-clinical and clinical practice. From January 2012, he is working as a Business development Manager at FujiFilm Visualsonics, Europe, where he coordinates the different scientific projects in collaboration with European research groups especially in the translational aspect of the photoacoustic technology.

Listening to brain activity: photoacoustic imaging as functional brain imaging technique

Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is a hybrid imaging modality, for non-invasive detection of tissue structural and functional anomalies. The technique combines the advantageous properties of optical and ultrasound imaging. It provides the excellent contrast achieved in optical techniques with the high spatial resolution of ultrasound imaging. Optical absorption in tissues can be endogenous, at these wavelengths mainly due to hemoglobin and melanin, or exogenous, using contrast agents. Since ultrasound waves undergo considerably less scattering in tissue compared with light, high resolution can be attained. Some important applications of this technique include breast cancer detection, skin cancer visualization and small animal imaging.

The current gold standard in neuroimaging (fMRI) measures the signal changes caused by the hemodynamic response that accompanies neural activity. Due to differences in optical absorption between different forms of hemoglobin, PA imaging has the potential to distinguish oxy-hemoglobin (HbO2) and deoxy-hemoglobin (HbR) levels in blood, as well as simultaneously distinguish increased blood flow, without the use of external contrast agents. Compared to purely optical based imaging modalities, PA is less invasive, as the skull does not have to be opened, and has superior resolutions while keeping high optical contrast. Its resolution (~100┬Ám), fast image acquisition, relatively low cost and portability make the technique competitive compared with fMRI and PET/SPECT.

In the present work, we will discuss the design and implementation of a photoacoustic (PA) imaging system integrated into a micro-ultrasound (US) platform for co-registered PA-US imaging. In addition, we will also discuss the different applications of the respective approach especially in clinical and pre-clinical arena.