Medical Imaging and Treatment Modalities


The development, modelling, and/or refinement of various modalities (light, sound, heat) to both visualize and destroy cancer while minimizing the impact on patients.

Faculty members

Devika Chithrani
Alexandre Douplik
Pedro Goldman
Raffi Karshafian
Michael Kolios
J. Carl Kumaradas
Jahan Tavakkoli
Vladislav Toronov
Yuan Xu

Research groups

Ultrasound-mediated imaging

Researcher: Yuan Xu

The Laboratory for Ultrasound-mediated imaging was established in July 2005 with the Ryerson startup fund. The research goal of the lab is to develop high-spatial-resolution imaging modalities to map the electrical properties of biological tissues. In the past few years, we have been focusing on various methods to combine ultrasound and electromagnetic field to extract electrical and mechanical properties of tissues. The methods we have worked on include thermoacoustic tomography (photoacoustic tomography), magneto-acoustic tomography with magnetic induction, magneto-acousto-electrical tomography, acousto-electrical tomography, and the effect of electrical current on ultrasound echoes. By utilizing both electromagnetic fields and acoustic waves we hope to combine the good contrast of the pure electromagnetic approaches with the good spatial resolution of pure ultrasound approaches. The research is aimed to develop new imaging modalities for early detection of diseases and monitoring therapy.

14-bit, 10MHz Gage card
16-bit, 200 MHz Gage card
NF low-noise differential amplifier SA-430F5, up to 70 MHz
NF low-noise differential amplifier SA-420F5, up to 110 MHz
Stanford low-noise voltage amplifier
Stanford low-noise current amplifier
Variable 400 volt square wave pulser/receiver with 35 MHz bandwidth
A two-dimensional raster scanner
A permanent magnet that can generate a magnetic field of 0.1- 0.2 T within a volume of 4 inch cube
Different digital and analog function generators

Advanced Biomedical ultrasound imaging and therapy

Researcher(s): Jahan Tavakkoli, Michael Kolios

The “Advanced Biomedical Ultrasound Imaging and Therapy Laboratory” was established in 2007 through investments from the Canada Foundation for Innovation Leading Edge Fund (grant #11525) and a strategic investment by Ryerson University that was leveraged by an Ontario Research Fund-Research Excellence (ORF-RE) grant (grant #RE02-032) from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation). The laboratory hosts an array of state-of-the-art biomedical ultrasound research and development resources to be used for various advanced research projects. Research projects span a range of topics in both therapeutic and diagnostic ultrasound. For more information, visit our facility page.

HIFU transducers and systems
Histotripsy transducers and systems
High-end ultrasound imaging systems (scanners)
Micro-positioning systems for acoustic field measurements
Calibrated ultrasound hydrophones (standard and HIFU)
Acoustic power meters (standard and HIFU)
RF power amplifiers
Digital oscilloscopes and impedance meters
Water conditioner system (degasser and deionizer)
Thermocouple-based thermometry system
Nerve electrophysiology system
Ultrasound simulation software packages

Minimally invasive thermal therapy

Researchers: Michael Kolios, William M. Whelan

The “Facility for Fundamental Biophysics Research and Development of Minimally Invasive Thermal Therapies” was established in 2002 through a strategic investment by the University that was leveraged by Biomedical Physics principal investigators to CFI. Comprised of two individual laboratories, the facility houses more than $400,000 worth of state-of-the-art research equipment to be used by graduate students to conduct their research theses. Presently three graduate and two undergraduate students are working on thesis research in the facility, which has a capacity for 7 graduate students (desks concentrated on one side). Each graduate student has his/her own dedicated workstation connected to a university-based network. Most of the research equipment presented below is already installed and functional.


high resolution thermal camera
4-channel fluoroptic thermometry system
acoustic camera
4-channel laser and delivery system
arbitrary signal generator
ultrasound transducers
power amplifier
lock-in amplifier
digital oscilloscope

Ultrasound biomicroscopy

Researcher: Michael Kolios

The biomedical ultrasound laboratory has been equipped with equipment purchased over the years through several funding agencies (NSERC, Whitaker, CFI, OIT - PI M. Kolios). It houses a commercial high frequency ultrasound imager, a prototype high frequency ultrasound system for the investigation of pulse encoding schemes and various other components for ultrasound imaging and heating experiments.


VisualSonics VS40B high frequency ultrasound imager
2.6GS arbitrary waveform generator (Textronix model AWG610)
power amplifier that can be used to achieve 56dB gains up to 250MHz (Empower RF systems model BBS0D3FRR)
various oscilloscopes (National Instruments, computer based) and high end oscilloscope (touch screen Textronix TDS5052)
a 3D scanning apparatus with calibrated hydrophones (Precision Acoustics Ltd., England)
several high frequency ultrasound transducers (at 20,30,40,55MHz)
several heating transducers

Optoacoustic imaging

Researchers: Michael Kolios, William M. Whelan

The optoacoustic imaging laboratory has been recently developed and is rapidly evolving over time through the addition of new devices and experimental setups. This laboratory provides a vast opportunity for research and improvement of our understanding of optoacoustic techniques from both the theoretical and experimental perspectives. It houses an assortment of equipment which help in the characterization, measurement and determination of different optical properties of biomedical samples and their effects on the performance of optoacoustic imaging.


Laser optoacoustic imaging system (LOIS) (Fairway Medical Technologies, Inc. Houston Tx.).
An optical parametric oscillator (OPO ‐ from Optotek Vibrant) delivering light pulses with duration 6 ns, maximum energy 60 mJ/pulse and covering a spectral range from 680 to 950 nm.
Double integrating spheres for measuring different optical properties.
Compact spectrometers capable of detection over the visible and NIR range of the spectrum.
An interferometry setup around a solid state laser with cw output at 532 nm.

Computational Biomedical Physics Laboratory

Researcher: J. Carl Kumaradas

A facility for computation modeling in the detection and treatment of cancer was established with support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Ministry of Trade and Development, IBM Canada, ANSYS Inc., and ROI Engineering. This facility is being used for computational investigations of a wide range of highly innovative cancer detection and treatment techniques, including opto-acoustic imaging, the detection and treatment of small tumours using nano-particles conjugated to monoclonal antibodies, the treatment planning of laser and ultrasound thermal therapy, and ultrasound monitoring of radiation- and chemo-therapy. This facility provides the ability for graduate students to develop and use very sophisticated models in these areas.


Linux based IBM high performance computational cluster containing six Opteron dual processor computational nodes, 40 gigabytes of RAM and a full license of the ANSYS Multiphysics numerical analysis software, and 30 licenses for COMSOL Multiiphysics.

Magnetic resonance Imaging and near infrared spectroscopy

Researcher: Vladislav Toronov

Continuous wave broadband near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a promising technology for functional brain imaging which measures hemodynamic signals from the brain, similar to those of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Given the limitations of each of the two techniques, simultaneous application of NIRS and MRI can help to better understand blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) effect in normal and diseased brains. Physiological information resulting from the optical modality in combination with magnetic resonance signal has a potential for enhancement of the diagnostic power of imaging for cerebrovascular reactivity conditions (e.g., steno-occlusive disorders).

Clinical feedback for laser surgery

Researcher: Alexandre Douplik

Research in this group include topics such as fluorescence and hyperspectral imaging; Laser surgery; Photodynamic therapy; Optical tracking of cancer stem cells; Applications of plasmon nanostructures in diagnostics and therapy; Optical properties of blood and its components.

Nanoparticles for improved therapeutics and imaging in cancer therapy

Researcher: Devika Chithrani

Nanotechnology involves creation and utilization of materials, devices or systems on the nanometer scale. This field is currently undergoing explosive development on many fronts and is expected to generate exciting innovations in the field of medicine. In particular, there has been tremendous progress made in the use of polymer and lipid based nanoparticles (NPs) for drug delivery and imaging. Recently, more attention has been given to incorporating inorganic NPs such as gold and magnetic NPs with both imaging and therapeutic capabilities into polymer and lipid based NPs for improved cancer treatment. In addition, this emerging field of nanomedicine requires better understanding of the interface between nanotechnology and medicine, which should lead to better tools for diagnostic imaging and therapy. Gold nanoparticles have been used as a model platform for understanding how size, shape, and surface properties of nanoparticles affect their intracellular fate. These fundamental studies will facilitate building of better NP-based platforms for improved outcomes in the future cancer care of patients.

Ultrasound and microbubble mediated therapeutic applications

Researcher: Raffi Karshafian

Our group is specifically interested in improving local drug delivery of medicinal drugs and in enhancing sensitivity of tumours to ionzing radiation. I am collaborating with researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to extend the investigation of these effects in animal tumour models.

Treatment optimization for radiation therapy and image reconstruction

Researcher: Pedro Goldman

Currently, the main thrust of my research is focused on the radiation treatment of tumours. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is becoming a new standard technique for radiotherapy. A fast and reliable optimization algorithm is crucial for designing good radiation treatment plans and for the successful implementation of future interactive adaptive treatment techniques. My work introduced a new Fast Inverse Dose Optimization (FIDO) method for the direct solution of the inverse problem that avoids negative beamlet intensities and is several orders of magnitude faster than present optimization techniques. Our research currently is dedicated to the development of a full fledged three-dimensional.planning system including scattering effects, Dose-Volume constraints, as well as gantry angle optimization and biological effects. A second line of research regarding the radiation treatment of tumours is the optimization of Intensity Modulated Arc Therapy (IMAT). We have produced a new method to calculate analytic pre-optimized intensities and are now investigating a very fast, full optimization of IMAT including all constraints mentioned above. We are interested as well in the problem of inverse image reconstruction in Computed Tomography (CT). One perspective is the application of FIDO for a novel solution of this problem. The second is an imaging perspective involving the creation of novel alternatives to Fourier transforms in order to avoid the nasty artifacts that Fourier introduces in Medical Imaging.