Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Photonics. 2011 Mar;5(3):154.

Time-reversed ultrasonically encoded optical focusing into scattering media.

Author information

Optical Imaging Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri 63130-4899.


Light focusing plays a central role in biomedical imaging, manipulation, and therapy. In scattering media, direct light focusing becomes infeasible beyond one transport mean free path. All previous methods1-3 to overcome this diffusion limit lack a practical internal "guide star."4 Here we proposed and experimentally validated a novel concept, called Time-Reversed Ultrasonically Encoded (TRUE) optical focusing, to deliver light into any dynamically defined location inside a scattering medium. First, diffused coherent light is encoded by a focused ultrasonic wave to provide a virtual internal "guide star"; then, only the encoded light is time-reversed and transmitted back to the ultrasonic focus. The TRUE optical focus-defined by the ultrasonic wave-is unaffected by multiple scattering of light. Such focusing is especially desirable in biological tissue where ultrasonic scattering is ~1000 times weaker than optical scattering. Various fields including biomedical and colloidal optics can benefit from TRUE optical focusing.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center