Developing Light Field Technology in Biomedical Imaging

Project completed in 2015.

Dr Iain Styles, School of Computer Science
Professor Kai Bongs, School of Physics
Professor Ela Claridge, School of Computer Science
Dr Steve Thomas, Institute of Cardiobascular Sciences
Professor Ferenc Mueller, Insitute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences

Light field (or plenoptic) imaging is a technique which allows the capture of the 3-dimensional information in a scene using a single camera in a single exposure. This is done by adding an array of microlenses to a conventional camera such that it allows information about the angles of light rays as well as their intensity and position to be recorded. This information can be computationally post-processed to allow digital refocussing or camera repositioning. Such cameras have recently become commercially available and are mainly used in consumer photographic applications, and they have much unexplored potential as tools for biomedical research. This project will develop plenoptic imaging technology for bioimaging applications.

Initial work will involve the development of simulation tools to allow plenoptic systems to be investigated in silico. These tools will allow the parameters of the imaging system to be adjusted and optimised in order to provide the best quality data for a specific problem. We will use these tools to investigate several biomedical applications. The initial imaging problems we will consider are non-contact tomographic imaging and bright-field microscopy. We will use the results of the simulations to develop optimised attachments and reconstruction software that will be used and evaluated on existing instruments. The expected outputs of the project are a demonstration of the benefits of plenoptic techniques for biomedical imaging, and a suite of tools for the design, exploration, and optimisation of the imaging configuration for different applications.