Research Projects


Dr. Godavarty’s research work focuses in the area of optical-based molecular imaging (diffuse optical and fluorescence-enhanced optical imaging) and tomography. Optical imaging is based on the principles of near-infrared light propagation in scattering media (such as biological tissues) and the use of external fluorescent contrast agents to better differentiate normal and diseased tissues based on the differences in their optical properties. The research work requires an understanding of transport phenomena in biological systems, application of experimental skills towards instrument development, incorporation of optimization and mathematical tools towards image reconstructions, and development of biomedical aspects of engineering towards practical applications, such as cancer diagnostics, wound imaging, functional brain mapping.

Near-infrared (NIR) light propagation in a dense scattering media is modeled based on the physics of light transport. The bioinstrumentation involved in the development of optical-based imaging systems is complimented by the 2D/3D tomographic (i.e. image reconstruction) analysis carried out using computational tools. Bioinstrumentation includes the development of optical-based imaging systems using near-infrared (NIR) light sources (i.e. laser diodes) and detectors (i.e. PMTs, CCD, CMOS cameras). Three-dimensional tomographic analysis of the optical images is carried out using appropriate light propagation models and computationally intense mathematical tools in order to locate regions of interest.

Our Optical Imaging Laboratory focuses on various clinical applications of near-infrared optical imaging technology.  Some of the key projects performing (-ed) include:

  • Non-contact hand-held optical imaging scanner for real-time assessment of oxygenation changes and perfusion changes in wound healing of diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers and arterial ulcers (clinical partners include dermatologist, podiatric surgeons, diabetologist, nursing faculty, statistics faculty)
  • Diffuse optical imaging of breast cancer in-vivo using a hand-held 3D tomographic imaging device (clinical partners include breast surgeon, radiologist).
  • Development of a novel 3D tomographic hand-held optical imager for imaging of large tissue volumes.
  • Functional brain mapping of cognition of motor functions in response to physical therapy in pediatrics/adults with cerebral palsy and correlation to muscle kinematics (partners include physical therapy faculty).
  • Functional brain mapping of cognition of joint attention in pediatrics with autism (clinical partners include neuropsychologist, psychology faculty).