Major research efforts of Dr. Anna N. Yaroslavsky include:
Development of wide-field high-resolution optical imaging
a. Wide-field (~3 - 12 cm) multispectral polarization sensitive reflectance and fluorescence macro-imaging (lateral resolution ~8 ÷50 m; axial resolution of ~ 50- 200 m) for: delineation of tumor margins; functional imaging; monitoring of chromophore and fluorophore kinetics; spatially resolved spectral analysis of tissue constituents; statistical analysis of spectral responses (pattern recognition techniques) for automated tissue segmentation and classification; oxygenation state monitoring.
b. Multispectral confocal reflectance/fluorescence imaging, fluorescence polarization and life-time imaging (lateral resolution ~1m, axial ~3 m) for: localization of chromophore and fluorophore binding; high-resolution functional imaging; viscosity measurements; monitoring of coagulation dynamics in both in vitro and in vivo settings, study of trans-epidermal substance penetration and drug pharmacokinetics in vivo.
Integration of the two approaches in a single apparatus will allow monitoring of biochemical and physiological processes in real-time on spatially different scales.
Applications include detection and demarcation of malignant and benign lesions, dosimetry and optimization of treatments (both pharmaceutical and physical – e.g., photodynamic therapy), determination of physiologically relevant parameters (e.g., oxygentation, hydration state). Recent progress in micro- and nanotechnologies resulted in emergence of the application-specific markers like quantum dots and nanostructures. The integrated imaging approach can be used for testing distribution and binding of these materials in vivo.
Light propagation in and interaction with biological tissues
a. Modeling of light propagation in turbid media.
Due to the multiple light scattering, modeling of light-tissue interactions is often required for interpretation of the results of optical imaging in turbid tissues. The methods like Monte-Carlo technique are powerful tools for prediction of fluence rate distribution and light absorption in the tissue. It can be used for optimization and evaluation of the efficacy of light treatments, as well as for the development of novel therapeutic approaches and improving the outcome of the routinely performed procedures. Despite substantial progress made in this field during the last 20 years, a number of practically important problems still need to be addressed, such as e.g. dynamic regime of light propagation, when optical and thermal properties of tissue are affected by absorbed photonic energy, or account for phase effects in a multiple-scattering regime that under certain conditions can strongly influence electromagnetic field distribution in deep tissue layers.
b. High-precision quantitative measurements of optical properties of tissue.
Development of new optical methods for diagnostic and therapeutic applications requires accurate knowledge of the optical properties of human tissues. Existing techniques often fall short of design requirements. Refinement of the steady-state and time-resolved approach (in either time or frequency domain) can rectify this problem and lead to reliable quantitative technique for spatially resolved determination of tissue optical properties in vitro and in vivo.
Development of all-optical and multimodal image-guided intervention techniques
Recent advances in optical diagnostic techniques and methods for controlled delivery of photonic energy into human body make feasible development of highly accurate image-guided modalities for treatment of a variety of conditions, both invasively and non-invasively. Such instruments will combine means for initial site diagnostics, individual planning of the procedure, intraoperative monitoring and real-time correction, as well as end state assessment.
B.S. in Physics (Laser Physics) summa cum laude, Saratov, Russia
Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics (Biophysics), Saratov, Russia