In optical imaging, the light rays carry multiple dimensional information of the object, such as spatial coordinates, colors, and time. However, conventional imaging approaches measure only the two-dimensional intensities of the light, throwing away much of the information contained in other dimensions.  Dr. Gao’s group has recently demonstrated a snapshot multidimensional photography approach, which can acquire a four-dimensional (2D space, wavelength, and time) light field datacube in a single camera snapshot. The approach is novel because it is built upon a tunable mapping optical architecture, which provides tailored performance for the most demanding applications. The resultant system is of great value for biomedical imaging. For example, the team demonstrated real-time imaging of the oxygen saturation in the blood. The information so obtained can be used for non-invasive cancer diagnosis, where the tumors often exhibit a higher consumption ratio of oxygen.

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