Ultrasonically encoded wavefront shaping for focusing into random media

Jian Wei Tay, Puxiang Lai, and Lihong V. Wang

Scientific Reports, 4, 3918 (2014)

Abstract

Phase distortions due to scattering in random media restrict optical focusing beyond one transport mean free path. However, scattering can be compensated for by applying a correction to the illumination wavefront using spatial light modulators. One method of obtaining the wavefront correction is by iterative determination using an optimization algorithm. In the past, obtaining a feedback signal required either direct optical access to the target region, or invasive embedding of molecular probes within the random media. Here, we propose using ultrasonically encoded light as feedback to guide the optimization dynamically and non-invasively. In our proof-of-principle demonstration, diffuse light was refocused to the ultrasound focal zone, with a focus-to-background ratio of more than one order of magnitude after 600 iterations. With further improvements, especially in optimization speed, the proposed method should find broad applications in deep tissue optical imaging and therapy.

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