Optical projection tomography (OPT) is a non-invasive method for three-dimensional imaging of translucent materials. It uses an optical source and reconstruction techniques similar to those employed in X-ray computed tomography (XCT) to provide a 3D mapping of material optical properties.
While optical projection tomography has become a widely used and recognized technique in many biological research areas as diverse as developmental biology, neuroscience and plant biology, in its current implementation this technique is only applicable to specimens which can be index matched to water to avoid surface refraction effects. During this project the goal is to overcome this limitation by using either computational or optical methods. This will also enable research in new application areas like material science and geology.
There are various aspects to this project, including implementation of the optical system, system optimization, design and implementation of the image reconstruction algorithms and opto-mechanical design of the probe interface as well as testing of the completed system on calibration samples or specimens. Further research areas include the combination of this technique with other optical methods like spectroscopy, doppler imaging or birefringence mapping to further extend the 3D volumetric imaging capabilities.