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Petit Institute Seminar

“PICS: Phase Imaging with Computational Specificity”

Gabriel Popescu, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Director, Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Due to its specificity, fluorescence microscopy (FM) has been the main imaging tool in cell biology. However, photobleaching, phototoxicity, and related artifacts continue to limit FM’s performance. Recently, it has been shown that artificial intelligence (AI) can transform one form of contrast into another. We present PICS, a combination of quantitative phase imaging and AI, which provides quantitative information about unlabeled live cells with high specificity. Our imaging system allows for automatic training, while inference is built into the acquisition software and runs in real-time. Applying the computed specificity maps back to the QPI data, we measured the growth of both nuclei and cytoplasm independently, over many days, without loss of viability. Using a QPI method that suppresses multiple scattering, we measured the dry mass content of individual cell nuclei within spheroids.

Gabriel Popescu, Ph.D., is a Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Following his BS and MS in Physics from University of Bucharest, he received his Ph.D. in Optics in 2002 from the School of Optics/ CREOL (now the College of Optics and Photonics), University of Central Florida.  He continued his training with the late Michael Feld at M.I.T., working as a postdoctoral associate. He joined Illinois in August 2007 where he directs the Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory (QLI Lab) at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Dr. Popescu served as Associate Editor of Optics Express and Biomedical Optics Express, Editorial Board Member for Journal of Biomedical Optics and Scientific Reports. He authored three books, edited another book, authored 175 journal publications, gave 230 lecture/plenary/invited talks, 230 conference presentations, 32 patents. He founded Phi Optics, Inc., a start-up company that commercializes quantitative phase imaging technology. He is a Fellow of OSA, SPIE, AIMBE, and senior member of IEEE.


Event Details


  • Thursday, March 5, 2020
    11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Room 1128
Phone: 4048946228

For More Information Contact

Ross Ethier, Ph.D. - faculty host

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