Bio

Honors & Awards


  • Magna Cum Laude Merit Award, International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine - 20th Annual Symposium (2012)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, California Breast Cancer Research Program (2010-2012)
  • Member, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society (2000)

Education & Certifications


  • Ph.D., University of Southern California, Biomedical Engineering (2008)
  • M.S., University of Southern California, Biomedical Engineering (2005)
  • B.S., University of South Florida, Electrical Engineering (2002)

Publications

Journal Articles


  • MR-acoustic radiation force imaging (MR-ARFI) and susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) to visualize calcifications in ex vivo swine brain. Journal of magnetic resonance imaging : JMRI Bitton, R. R., Pauly, K. R. 2013

    Abstract

    To present the use of MR-acoustic radiation force imaging (MR-ARFI) and susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) to visualize calcifications in ex vivo brain tissue as a planning indicator for MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS).Calcifications were implanted in ex vivo swine brain and imaged using SWI, MR-ARFI, and computed tomography (CT). SWI-filtered phase images used 3D gradient recalled echo (GRE) images with a Fourier-based unwrapping algorithm. The MR-ARFI pulse sequence used a 2DFT spin-echo with repeated bipolar encoding gradients in the direction of the longitudinal ultrasound beam. MR-ARFI interrogations scanned a subregion (14 × 10 × 12 mm) of the brain surrounding the calcification. They were combined into a single displacement weighted map, using the sum of squares method. Calcification size estimates were based on image profiles plotted along the ±x and ±z direction, at the full-width half-maximum.Both MR-ARFI and SWI were able to visualize the calcifications. The contrast ratio was 150 for CT, 12 for SWI, and 12 for MR-ARFI. Profile measures were 1.35 × 1.28 mm on CT, 1.24 × 1.73 mm on SWI, and 2.45 × 3.02 mm on MR-ARFI. MR-ARFI displacement showed a linear increase with acoustic power (20-80W), and also increased with calcification size.The use of SWI-filtered phase and MR-ARFI have the potential to provide a clinical indicator of calcification relevance in the planning of a transcranial MRgFUS treatment.J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.24255

    View details for PubMedID 24123504

  • Toward MR-guided high intensity focused ultrasound for presurgical localization: Focused ultrasound lesions in cadaveric breast tissue JOURNAL OF MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING Bitton, R. R., Kaye, E., Dirbas, F. M., Daniel, B. L., Pauly, K. B. 2012; 35 (5): 1089-1097

    Abstract

    To investigate magnetic resonance image-guided high intensity focused ultrasound (MR-HIFU) as a surgical guide for nonpalpable breast tumors by assessing the palpability of MR-HIFU-created lesions in ex vivo cadaveric breast tissue.MR-HIFU ablations spaced 5 mm apart were made in 18 locations using the ExAblate2000 system. Ablations formed a square perimeter in mixed adipose and fibroglandular tissue. Ablation was monitored using T1-weighted fast spin echo images. MR-acoustic radiation force impulse (MR-ARFI) was used to remotely palpate each ablation location, measuring tissue displacement before and after thermal sonications. Displacement profiles centered at each ablation spot were plotted for comparison. The cadaveric breast was manually palpated to assess stiffness of ablated lesions and dissected for gross examination. This study was repeated on three cadaveric breasts.MR-ARFI showed a collective postablation reduction in peak displacement of 54.8% ([4.41 ± 1.48] ?m pre, [1.99 ± 0.82] ?m post), and shear wave velocity increase of 65.5% ([10.69 ± 1.60] mm pre, [16.33 ± 3.10] mm post), suggesting tissue became stiffer after the ablation. Manual palpation and dissection of the breast showed increased palpability, a darkening of ablation perimeter, and individual ablations were visible in mixed adipose/fibroglandular tissue.The results of this preliminary study show MR-HIFU has the ability to create palpable lesions in ex vivo cadaveric breast tissue, and may potentially be used to preoperatively localize nonpalpable breast tumors.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.23529

    View details for Web of Science ID 000302721800011

    View details for PubMedID 22170814

  • A 3-D High-Frequency Array Based 16 Channel Photoacoustic Microscopy System for In Vivo Micro- Vascular Imaging IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MEDICAL IMAGING Bitton, R., Zemp, R., Yen, J., Wang, L. V., Shung, K. K. 2009; 28 (8): 1190-1197

    Abstract

    This paper discusses the design of a novel photoacoustic microscopy imaging system with promise for studying the structure of tissue microvasculature for applications in visualizing angiogenesis. A new 16 channel analog and digital high-frequency array based photoacoustic microscopy system (PAM) was developed using an Nd:YLF pumped tunable dye laser, a 30 MHz piezo composite linear array transducer, and a custom multichannel receiver electronics system. Using offline delay and sum beamforming and beamsteering, phantom images were obtained from a 6 mum carbon fiber in water at a depth of 8 mm. The measured -6 dB lateral and axial spatial resolution of the system was 100+/-5 microm and 45+/-5 microm, respectively. The dynamic focusing capability of the system was demonstrated by imaging a composite carbon fiber matrix through a 12.5 mm imaging depth. Next, 2-D in vivo images were formed of vessels around 100 mum in diameter in the human hand. Three-dimensional in vivo images were also formed of micro-vessels 3 mm below the surface of the skin in two Sprague Dawley rats.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TMI.2008.2011899

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268525500005

    View details for PubMedID 19131292

  • Realtime Photoacoustic Microscopy of Murine Cardiovascular Dynamics OPTICS EXPRESS Zemp, R. J., Song, L., Bitton, R., Shung, K. K., Wang, L. V. 2008; 16 (22): 18551-18556

    Abstract

    Non-invasive visualization of cardiovascular dynamics in small animals is challenging due to their rapid heart-rates. We present a realtime photoacoustic imaging system consisting of a 30-MHz ultrasound array transducer, receive electronics, a high-repetition-rate laser, and a multicore-computer, and demonstrate its ability to image optically-absorbing structures of the beating hearts of young athymic nude mice at rates of approximately 50 frames per second with 100 microm x 25 microm spatial resolution. To our knowledge this is the first report of realtime photoacoustic imaging of physiological dynamics.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000260865900140

    View details for PubMedID 18958134

  • Realtime photoacoustic microscopy in vivo with a 30-MHz ultrasound array transducer OPTICS EXPRESS Zemp, R. J., Song, L., Bitton, R., Shung, K. K., Wang, L. V. 2008; 16 (11): 7915-7928

    Abstract

    We present a novel high-frequency photoacoustic microscopy system capable of imaging the microvasculature of living subjects in realtime to depths of a few mm. The system consists of a high-repetition-rate Q-switched pump laser, a tunable dye laser, a 30-MHz linear ultrasound array transducer, a multichannel high-frequency data acquisition system, and a shared-RAM multi-core-processor computer. Data acquisition, beamforming, scan conversion, and display are implemented in realtime at 50 frames per second. Clearly resolvable images of 6-microm-diameter carbon fibers are experimentally demonstrated at 80 microm separation distances. Realtime imaging performance is demonstrated on phantoms and in vivo with absorbing structures identified to depths of 2.5-3 mm. This work represents the first high-frequency realtime photoacoustic imaging system to our knowledge.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000256469900038

    View details for PubMedID 18545502

  • Design of a high frequency array based photoacoustic Microscopy system for micro-vascular Imaging 2007 ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE IEEE ENGINEERING IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY SOCIETY, VOLS 1-16 Bitton, R., Zerrip, R., Yen, J., Wang, L. H., Shung, K. K. 2007: 2175-2178

    Abstract

    The rapidly expanding field of photoacoustic imaging includes a technique called photoacoustic microscopy. Photoacoustic microscopy is a hybrid imaging modality with sub-millimeter resolution that possesses the contrast benefit of optical imaging and the resolution benefit of ultrasonic imaging. This technique can be used to image the structure and dynamics of microvessels involved in angiogenesis within biological tissue. In this paper we present results of a new high frequency array based photoacoustic microscopy system (PAM) using an Nd:YLF pumped tunable dye laser, a 30MHz piezo composite linear array and a custom multi-channel receiver system. Using offline delay and sum beamforming and beamsteering, phantom images were obtained from a 6microm carbon fiber in water at a depth of 8mm. The measured axial and lateral spatial resolution of the system was 103+/-5microm and 45+/-5microm, respectively. In vivo B-scans were obtained from vessels within a human hand as well as 3D photoacoustic images of vessels 3mm below the skin surface in a Sprague Dawley Rat.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000253467001228

    View details for PubMedID 18002420

  • Photoacoustic imaging of the microvasculature with a high-frequency ultrasound array transducer JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL OPTICS Zemp, R. J., Bitton, R., Li, M., Shung, K. K., Stoica, G., Wang, L. V. 2007; 12 (1)

    Abstract

    Visualization of microvascular networks could provide new information about function and disease. We demonstrate the capabilities of a 30-MHz ultrasound array system for photoacoustic microscopy of small (< or = 300 microm) vessels in a rat. 3D images obtained by translating the array in the elevation direction are compared with photographs of excised skin. The system is shown to have 100-microm lateral resolution, 25-microm axial resolution, and 3-mm imaging depth. To our knowledge this is the first report on photoacoustic microscopy of the microvasculature with a high-frequency array transducer. It is anticipated that the system can be used for studying and diagnosing a number of diseases including cancer, atherosclerosis, dermatological disorders, and peripheral microvascular complications in diabetes.

    View details for DOI 10.1117/1.2709850

    View details for Web of Science ID 000245505400001

    View details for PubMedID 17343475

  • Photoacoustic Microscopy with a 30MHz Array and Receive System Proc IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium 2006 Bitton R, Zemp R, Li M.L., Yen J., Wang L.H., Shung K.K. 2006: 389-392

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