On October 14th, 2021, Ata Chizari defended his PhD thesis titled handheld laser speckle contrast perfusion imaging at the University of Twente. From 2017 till 2021, he worked on his PhD project at Biomedical Photonic Imaging under supervision of Prof. Wiendelt Steenbergen. During his PhD research, Ata mainly addressed movement artefacts in handheld laser speckle contrast perfusion imaging.
Click here to visit the publication page of the thesis.
Skin microvasculature changes are crucial in psoriasis development and correlate with perfusion. The noninvasive Handheld Perfusion Imager (HAPI) examines microvascular skin perfusion in large body areas using laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI). We aim to (i) assess whether increased perilesional perfusion and perfusion inhomogeneity are predictors for expansion of psoriasis lesions and (ii) assess feasibility of the HAPI system in a mounted modality. In this interventional pilot study in adults with unstable plaque psoriasis, HAPI measurements and color photographs were performed for lesions present on one body region at week 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8. The presence of increased perilesional perfusion and perfusion inhomogeneity was determined. Clinical outcome was categorized as increased, stable or decreased lesion surface between visits. Patient feedback was collected on a 10-point scale.
In total, 110 lesions with a median follow-up of 6 (IQR 6.0) weeks were assessed in 6 patients with unstable plaque psoriasis. Perfusion data was matched to 281 clinical outcomes after two weeks. A mixed multinomial logistic regression model revealed a predictive value of perilesional increased perfusion (OR 9.90; p < 0.001) and perfusion inhomogeneity (OR 2.39; p = 0.027) on lesion expansion after two weeks compared to lesion stability. HAPI measurements were considered fast, patient-friendly and important by patients. We conclude that visualization of increased perilesional perfusion and perfusion inhomogeneity by noninvasive whole field LSCI holds potential for prediction of psoriatic lesion expansion. Furthermore, the HAPI is a feasible and patient-friendly tool.
Fluid flow shear stresses are strong regulators for directing the organization of vascular networks. Knowledge of structural and flow dynamics information within complex vasculature is essential for tuning the vascular organization within engineered tissues, by manipulating flows. However, reported investigations of vascular organization and their associated flow dynamics within complex vasculature over time are limited, due to limitations in the available physiological pre-clinical models, and the optical inaccessibility and aseptic nature of these models. Here, we developed laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) and side-stream dark field microscopy (SDF) systems to map the vascular organization, spatio-temporal blood flow fluctuations as well as erythrocytes movements within individual blood vessels of developing chick embryo, cultured within an artificial eggshell system. By combining imaging data and computational simulations, we estimated fluid flow shear stresses within multiscale vasculature of varying complexity. Furthermore, we demonstrated the LSCI compatibility with bioengineered perfusable muscle tissue constructs, fabricated via molding techniques. The presented application of LSCI and SDF on perfusable tissues enables us to study the flow perfusion effects in a non-invasive fashion. The gained knowledge can help to use fluid perfusion in order to tune and control multiscale vascular organization within engineered tissues.
Enabling handheld perfusion imaging would drastically improve the feasibility of perfusion imaging in clinical practice. Therefore, we examine the performance of handheld laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) measurements compared to mounted measurements, demonstrated in psoriatic skin. A pipeline is introduced to process, analyze and compare data of 11 measurement pairs (mounted-handheld LSCI modes) operated on 5 patients and various skin locations. The on-surface speeds (i.e. speed of light beam movements on the surface) are quantified employing mean separation (MS) segmentation and enhanced correlation coefficient maximization (ECC). The average on-surface speeds are found to be 8.5 times greater in handheld mode compared to mounted mode. Frame alignment sharpens temporally averaged perfusion maps, especially in the handheld case. The results show that after proper post-processing, the handheld measurements are in agreement with the corresponding mounted measurements on a visual basis. The absolute movement-induced difference between mounted-handheld pairs after the background correction is 16.4±9.3 %16.4±9.3 % (mean ± std, n=11), with an absolute median difference of 23.8%23.8%. Realization of handheld LSCI facilitates measurements on a wide range of skin areas bringing more convenience for both patients and medical staff.
Laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) is a non-invasive and affordable technique to visualize skin perfusion. Handheld use of the system facilitates measurements on various skin areas in a flexible manner. However, movement artefacts caused by handheld operation or test subject movements hamper its performance. In this work, we study the influence of the laser beam type in handheld-LSCI by evaluating the speckle contrast on static objects for beams with planar, spherical or scrambled wavefronts, and for movement artefacts caused by tilting or translation of wavefronts. We show that the scrambled waves made by often-used engineered diffusers lead to significantly larger movement artefacts than planar or spherical waves.
Functional performance of handheld laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) is compromised by movement artefacts. Here we quantify the movements of a handheld LSCI system employing electromagnetic (EM) tracking and measure the applied translational, tilt and on-surface laser beam speeds. By observing speckle contrast on static objects, the magnitudes of translation and tilt of wavefronts are explored for various scattering levels of the objects. We conclude that for tissue mimicking static phantoms, on-surface speeds play a dominant role to wavefront tilt speed in creation of movement artefacts. The ratio depends on the optical properties of the phantom. Furthermore, with the same applied speed, the drop in the speckle contrast increases with decreasing reduced scattering coefficient, and hence the related movement artefact increases.
An accurate visible light indoor localization system is proposed for a smartphone using the commercial light-emitting diode (LED) panels which are used primarily for lighting. Each of designed lighting panel contains a space-colorcoded identifier, a matrix with a unique pattern of spatially separated colored LEDs, for labeling different positioning cells while the lighting color is kept white by balancing the number of different sets of colored LEDs. The advantage of this idea is that we do not use the time-frequency domain of visible light communication (VLC) networks resources for positioning signaling. Our positioning technique called geometrical optics positioning algorithm (GOPA) is an angle of arrival (AOA)-based geometrical algorithm on smartphones to locate the device. The front-facing camera of the smartphone is used at the receiver side to capture the image. Experimental results show robust two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) positioning. The experimental mean positioning error for 2-D positioning is 0.54 cm, in case of ignoring the tilt. The experimental mean positioning errors for 3-D positioning are respectively 1.24 cm, and 1.85 cm for ideal non-tilted and non-oriented, and non-tilted but orientated scenarios.
- The following video shows a brief presentation of this work.
Experimental setup for visible-light-based indoor positioning.
Presentation of our collaborative work at 37th IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE)
We have designed a dimming compatible visible light communication (VLC) system with asynchronous and optimum indoor positioning method in a standard office room in combination with asynchronous and optimum indoor positioning method according to illumination standards under channel constraints. We use overlapping pulse position modulation (OPPM) to support dimming control by changing the code weights. The system parameters such as a valid interval for dimming together with an upper bound for bit rate according to the channel delay spread are investigated. Moreover, considering the dispersive VLC channel and using Monte Carlo (MC) simulations, a method is proposed to determine the minimum code length in different dimming levels in order to achieve a valid bit error rate (BER). Then, the trellis coded modulation (TCM) is suggested to be applied to OPPM in order to take advantage of consequent coding gain which could be up to 3 dB. Finally, in order to enable asynchronously and with high throughput data transmission of LEDs for the purpose of indoor positioning, we propose using one-persistent carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) network protocol. Using received signal strength (RSS) based trilateration, the two dimensional positioning error of around 10 cm is verified by the simulation results.
We have realized the concept of analog computing using an engineered gradient dielectric meta-reflect-array. The proposed configuration consists of individual subwavelength silicon nanobricks, in combination with a fused silica spacer and silver ground plane, realizing a reflection beam with full phase coverage of 2𝜋 degrees, as well as an amplitude range of 0 to 1. Spectrally overlapping electric and magnetic dipole resonances, such high-index dielectric metasurfaces can locally and independently manipulate the amplitude and phase of the incident electromagnetic wave. This practically feasible structure overcomes substantial limitations imposed by plasmonic metasurfaces such as absorption losses and low polarization conversion efficiency in the visible range. Using such CMOS-compatible and easily integrable platforms promises highly efficient ultrathin planar wave-based computing systems that circumvent the drawbacks of conventional bulky lens-based signal processors. Based on these key properties and the general concept of spatial Fourier transformation, we design and realize broadband mathematical operators such as the differentiator and integrator in the telecommunication wavelengths.
Schematic demonstration of the proposed graded-index-lens structure and its constitutive unit
Here you can have a look at some posters briefly describing the research topics.