Optical focusing inside scattering media with iterative time-reversed ultrasonically encoded near-infrared light

PLUTO / PLUTO-2 Spatial Light Modulators
Adaptive Optics / Wavefront Control Turbid-/ Opaque Media /Multi Scattering
Published on:
Authors: Liang, Hanpeng; Li, Ti-Jian; Luo, Jiawei; Zhao, Jiayu; Wang, Jian; Wu, Daixuan; Luo, Zhi-Chao; Shen, Yuecheng
Abstract:

Focusing light inside scattering media is a long-sought goal in optics. Time-reversed ultrasonically encoded (TRUE) focusing, which combines the advantages of biological transparency of the ultrasound and the high efficiency of digital optical phase conjugation (DOPC) based wavefront shaping, has been proposed to tackle this problem. By invoking repeated acousto-optic interactions, iterative TRUE (iTRUE) focusing can further break the resolution barrier imposed by the acoustic diffraction limit, showing great potential for deep-tissue biomedical applications. However, stringent requirements on system alignment prohibit the practical use of iTRUE focusing, especially for biomedical applications at the near-infrared spectral window. In this work, we fill this blank by developing an alignment protocol that is suitable for iTRUE focusing with a near-infrared light source. This protocol mainly contains three steps, including rough alignment with manual adjustment, fine-tuning with a high-precision motorized stage, and digital compensation through Zernike polynomials. Using this protocol, an optical focus with a peak-to-background ratio (PBR) of up to 70% of the theoretical value can be achieved. By using a 5-MHz ultrasonic transducer, we demonstrated the first iTRUE focusing using near-infrared light at 1053 nm, enabling the formation of an optical focus inside a scattering medium composed of stacked scattering films and a mirror. Quantitatively, the size of the focus decreased from roughly 1 mm to 160 µm within a few consecutive iterations and a PBR up to 70 was finally achieved. We anticipate that the capability of focusing near-infrared light inside scattering media, along with the reported alignment protocol, can be beneficial to a variety of applications in biomedical optics.

Open Access

Publication: Optics Express
Issue/Year: Vol. 31, Issue 11, pp. 18365-18378 (2023)
DOI: 10.1364/OE.491462
Link: https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.491462

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