Seminar Friday, February 23

Sean Kirkpatrick, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Michigan Technological University

Advanced approaches for the modeling, simulation and application of laser speckle for the study of biophysical dynamics

Laser speckle and related techniques play a significant role in the study of biophysical dynamics.  This is partially due to the fact that speckle is a ubiquitous phenomenon that is observed whenever coherent radiation (light, ultrasound, and coherent x-rays, for example) illuminates a rough surface or scattering volume.  While the ubiquitous nature of speckle lends itself to easily implemented technologies for investigating complex biodynamics, it also makes proper interpretation of the results challenging.  This presentation focuses on aspects of laser speckle including first – and second – order spatial statistics and their influences on the results of speckle-based measurements.  Temporal statistics of time-varying speckle will also be discussed using a newly introduced approach of spatio-temporal Poincaré plots.  The nature and potential applications of singular points, or optical vortices, in speckle fields will also be presented.  A special emphasis will be placed on efficient computational techniques for the modeling and simulation of laser speckle.  Applications of laser speckle to the estimation of blood flux, tissue perfusion, tissue mechanics and cellular activity will be discussed with an emphasis on developing universal guidelines on experimental techniques in an effort to make speckle measurements more repeatable and consistent between studies and between laboratories.

Sean J. Kirkpatrick is the Department Chair and a full professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Michigan Technological University, a position he has held since 2010.  He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Miami in 1992 and subsequently completed post-doctoral fellowships at The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.  Prior to joining Michigan Tech, he held faculty positions at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, The Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology and the Oregon Health & Science University.  His area of research is in biomedical optics, with a focus on coherent optical techniques for the investigation of biological dynamics.  He has pioneered novel coherent optical methods to noninvasively assess blood flow and perfusion, as well as tissue mechanics.  Lately, he has been investigating the application of singular optics to understanding complex biodynamics.  He has published extensively on laser speckle and related topics and is a Fellow of both SPIE and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Imaging.