Michael C. Kolios

BSc (Waterloo), MSc, PhD (Toronto)

Profile picture - Michael Kolios
350 Victoria Street Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3
t. 416-979-5000 x3157
f. 416-979-5343
Research Website


Ultrasound imaging and therapeutics, Ultrasound imaging, Optical Coherence Tomography, Photoacoustics, Theranostic agent development, Heat transfer in tissue, Thermal Therapies

Research Projects

My research interests are in the application of ultrasound in medicine and the modeling of heat transfer in tissues. I am currently examining the potential of using high frequency ultrasound imaging (20-60MHz) for the detection of cell death. Even though at these frequencies we cannot resolve individual cells, we can examine the ultrasound backscatter from cell ensembles to make inferences about the state of the cells. We have found that the ultrasound backscatter from cells dying either by apoptosis (a form of cell suicide) or necrosis increases, and the frequency dependence of the backscatter power spectra can potentially be used to differentiate between the two, at least in the in vitro systems we have used to date. I am collaborating with researchers at the Sunybrook Hospital in Toronto to determine whether this methodology can also be used in animal tumor models (to detect the death of cancer cells), and we are currently participating in a clinical trial involving cancer patients with superficial tumors. We have developed theoretical models to better understand the backscattering process, and have used experimental systems to examine the backscatter from objects on the scale of cells for which we know their properties. Ultrasonic characterization of cells and cellular components is thus an ongoing interest in the lab. Ultrasound at higher intensities can be used to destroy tissues rather than image them. We have developed theoretical models to estimate temperatures during the heating of tissue using ultrasound or other sources (such as laser), and are currently examining the effect of blood flow on these heating patterns. Furthermore I am investigating the use of an acoustic camera to monitor the treated tissue non-invasively. The acoustic camera records how ultrasound is attenuated rather than detecting the backscatter as conventional ultrasound does. Finally, I have incorporated in my research program optical techniques as a source of new contrast: optical coherence tomography and photoacoustic imaging, which currently form a substantial core of my research program.

Selected Publications


NSERC, NCIC, CIHR, The Whitaker Foundation, CFI, PREA



Group Members

Ryerson Students

Current Ph.D. Students:
Borna Maraghechi (co-supervised)
Ping Gong (co-supervised)
Muhannad Fadhel
Golnaz Farhat (co-supervised)
Barry Vuong (co-supervised)
Marjan Razani
Amin Sojahrood (co-supervised)
Donald Fernades (co-supervised)

Current Masters Students:
Nusrat Surovy (co-supervised)
Michael Moore
Fayruz Kibria
Yan Wang

Undergraduate Research Assistants:
Ruben Pinto

Omar Falou
Eno Hysi
Mehrnaz Tabibi
Jason Zalev
Devesh Bekah
Timothy Luk
Eric Strohm
Ahmed El-Kaffas
Sarah Iradji
Robin Castelino
Ellie Soleimankhani
Darren Morofke (M.A.Sc. 2006)
Neeta Parmar (M.A.Sc 2005)
Noushin Farnoud (M.A.Sc. 2004)
Xuegang Su (M.A.Sc. 2003)

University of Toronto Students

Adam Tunis (M.Sc. 2005)
Roxana Vlad (M.Sc. 2004, Ph.D. 2009)

Curriculum Vitae

Thesis Links

This is an incomplete list.

A link to a search in the Ryerson University digital repository (RULA):


Falou, Omar, "Modelling high frequency ultrasound scattering from cells and ultrasound contrast agents" (2011). Theses and dissertations. Paper 562.


Zalev, Jason, "Detection and monitoring for cancer and abnormal vasculature by photoacoustic signal characterization of structural morphology" (2010). Theses and dissertations. Paper 560.

Bekah, Devesh, "Measurement of viscoelastic properties of treated and untreated cancer cells using passive microrheology" (2010). Theses and dissertations. Paper 565.


Vlad, Roxana, Quantitative ultrasound characterization of responses to radiotherapy in vitro and in vivo. (2009)


Iradji, Sara, "Optimization of subharmonic generation from ultrasound contrast agents at high frequency ultrasound" (2008). Theses and dissertations. Paper 561.

El Kaffas, Ahmed, "Measuring the mechanical properties of apoptotic cells using particle tracking microrheology" (2008). Theses and dissertations. Paper 564.


Vlad, Roxana, High frequency ultrasound for monitoring changes in liver tissue during preservation (2006) Theses and dissertations

Tunis, Adam, Monitoring structural changes in cells and tissues with high frequency ultrasound signal statistics (2006) Theses and dissertations


Baddour, Ralph, High frequency ultrasound scattering from microspheres and single cells (2004) Theses and dissertations