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Fast computational reconstruction of optical tomographic imaging data enables computer-based diagnosis for peripheral artery, diabetic, joint and brain disease

Technology #cu13131

Optical tomography is a painless, non-invasive imaging method that utilizes the amplitude attenuation of light intensity when it passes through soft tissue. This imaging modality has many medical applications such as breast, brain, and joint imaging as well as assisting in disease diagnosis. In addition, vascular responses can be accurately quantified using this form of imaging and the subsequent quantification used to diagnose vascular disease. One challenge in optical tomography is the complexity involved in reconstructing tissue optical properties from the highly-scattered transmitted light. This technology provides an optical tomographic reconstruction algorithm that significantly reduces the computational time. This advantage gives the opportunity of real-time computer-aided algorithms that can potentially aid physicians in diagnosing and tracking various medical conditions.

Mathematical modeling using spherical harmonics decreases computational costs while maintaining performance.

This technology proposes an optical tomographic reconstruction algorithm using spherical harmonics to simplify the main light propagation in tissue equation. Compared to the currently used optical tomographic reconstruction method, the improved algorithm yields results of similar accuracy, but at computational speeds up to eighty times faster. The speed improvement increases the clinical utility of optical tomography-based computer-aided diagnosis.

The spherical harmonics simplification has been validated through numerical simulations of light propagation in a numerical phantom with embedded inhomogeneities.

Lead Inventor:

Andreas H. Hielscher, Ph.D.


  • Fast Reconstruction of optical tomographic data.
  • High-Speed computer-aided diagnosis in brain, joint and breast imaging applications.
  • Fluorescence enhanced molecular imaging.
  • Reduce surgery time and improve efficiency in laser surgery.
  • Fast reconstruction of light paths through mediums other than biological tissue, such as microscopes, circuit boards, optical fibers, etc.
  • Diagnostic in joint, brain, breast, vasculature diseases.


  • Reconstructs tomographic imaging data quickly and accurately.
  • Reduces computational costs and time.
  • Achieves similar accuracy compared to existing methods.
  • Faster imaging results can facilitate computer-aided diagnosis based on optical tomography.

Patent information:

Patent Pending (WO2012082804)

Licensing Status:

Available for licensing and sponsored research support

Tech Ventures Reference: IR CU13131

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