Compact Liquid Lens for Use in Photoacoustic Microscopy

Technology #15043

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Researchers
Huabei Jiang
Lei Xi
Chaolong Song
Managed By
Lenny Terry
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent 9,500,844

Allows for Enhanced High Resolution Imaging and Does Not Require Mechanical Scanning to Acquire Depth Information

This simple, compact liquid lens allows for enhanced high resolution imaging and does not require manual scanning for depth information. Photoacoustic microscopy (“PAM”) is an imaging technique that uses back-reflected optical data and ultrasound data to produce an image. In a confocal PAM apparatus, ultrasound and laser light are both focused on the same point within the region of interest using multiple cumbersome components, which creates complicated and bulky lens systems. Confocal PAM systems also require the use of mechanical linear scanning in order to acquire depth information in the image. Researchers at the University of Florida have designed a cost-effective and easily replaceable compact liquid lens that resolves the deficiencies of available confocal PAM devices. The proposed lens does not require manual or mechanical scanning to acquire depth information, and it allows the acoustic focus and optical focus to be confocal without any bulky external components. The liquid lens also allows for a shorter focal length, which makes the lens even more compact. Additionally, the liquid lens can be easily replaced to realize different functions, and using the lens liquid enlarges the numerical aperture of the system, enhancing the lens’ resolving ability.

Application

A compact liquid lens for use in photoacoustic microscopy

Advantages

  • Manufacturing of the liquid lens is easy and cost-effective, allowing for reduced production time and costs
  • Lens is designed with optical fiber, making the system applicable to a portable device
  • Lens liquid is safe, cost-effective and easily replaceable
  • Acoustic impedance of liquid is much lower than that of a solid, improving the signal transmission efficiency

Technology

By using a lens made up of a liquid-filled housing, the optical focus of the system can be adjusted simply by deforming the housing. This “housing” is a tank of glycerol and water, and adjusting the relative quantities of each substance allows the acoustic focus and optical focus to be confocal. Furthermore, by using a lens liquid with a high index of refraction, the focal length of the lens system can be shortened.