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Instrument Design and Data Analysis

About

Purpose

Despite significant recent advancements, current implementations of Brillouin Light Scattering Spectroscopy (BLSS) come with certain technical limitations, which make the performance of those instruments lag behind more widely adopted biomedical imaging modalities. This workgroup (WG) is dedicated to improving the design and efficiency of BLLS spectrometers in order to enable more widespread, and eventually disruptive, applications in the life sciences. For this we are engaging in frequent discussions and close collaboration between the various WG members.

During the course of this COST Action, we aim to improve the performance of BLSS systems in the following directions:

  • Due to the weakness of the Brillouin scattering process in biological materials, signal integration times are relatively long and hence result in slow imaging speed. We are therefore exploring strategies to improve BLLS efficacy and to speed-up spectral acquisition, both of which should enable more wide-spread¬†in-vivo¬†experimentation while potentially aiding in the development of novel clinical applications.

  • Current spectrometer designs are often extremely sensitive to component alignment and can occupy large optical tables. We are thus working on approaches to miniaturize BLSS spectrometer designs and improve their robustness and stability, in order to enable more routine use outside specialized lab conditions, such as in fieldwork or clinical applications.

  • In standard configuration, current BLLS measures mechanical properties along a single spatial direction, however, a complete mechanical characterization of a (biological) material requires the measurement of the entire elastic tensor. This property can be extracted from measurements at different scattering angles and polarizations and would yield important information about highly anisotropic samples. We are thus investigating optical and sample-mounting related approaches to allow flexible and simple acquisition of entire elastic tensors.

  • We also engage in novel BLSS data processing and analysis approaches in order to facilitate and speed up the extraction of mechanical information from the BLSS spectral datasets and to improve the reproducibility of BLSS experiments between individual laboratories and user groups.

This WG is also intended as a platform for instrument developers and data analysts to communicate and share their ideas, experiences and challenges. Furthermore, during the course of this WG, we aim to collect performance parameters pertaining to different currently existing BLSS instruments in terms of spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution, as well with regards to measurements precision and signal-to-noise. On the analysis side, we aim to establish standard protocols and procedures for proper calibration, acquisition, processing and analysis of BLSS data sets.

Contact

Work Group Leader

Robert Prevedel

EMBL

Germany