Opto-electronics Wide Field Fluorescence Life-time Imaging System 

In fluorescence-guided surgery, tumors are being made visible to surgeons by using fluorescent near-infrared contrast agents. In the state of the art, these contrast agents are imaged by a normal camera combined with a near-infrared filter.

Fluorescence-lifetime imaging can be used to increase the contrast between a tumor and the background in fluorescence-guided surgery. It is very important for a surgeon that the tumor is clearly visibly so it can be correctly removed without leaving any malignant tissue behind. To image fluorescence lifetime, the fluorescence needs to be excited with a fast pulsed laser and a very special camera that can detect the sub-nanosecond decay behavior of the fluorescence and this with good sensitivity in near infrared. The ETRO department is developing such a camera based on their new CAPS fast-gated image sensor. In theory a CAPS sensor can measure the rate of decay (fluorescence solution decays mono-exponentially after excited by a sharp LASER pulse) by time-gating the fluorescence decay in two time windows and calculating the lifetime from the ratio of the fluorescence emission in the two windows.

During my PhD I investigate how we can develop flexible lifetime estimation methods/algorithms such as CNN deep learning, and machine learning for our fast-gated camera that can use a configurable number of window and averaging to realize a trade-off between frame rate, accuracy and precision. Furthermore, redesign the optical setup to concurrent RGB image, and FLNIR image (intensity, and lifetime), and also the illumination setup.

"Science can amuse and fascinate us all, but it is engineering that changes the world."

Short Bio 
  • PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering at Vrije University of Brussels, 2020.
  • M.Sc. Photonics Engineering at Vrije University of Brussels/Ghent University, 2018-2019.
  • B.Sc. Electrical Engineering in field of communication, 2011-2016.