Snapshot Tomography for Tissue and Cell Imaging



Optical tomography provides 3-D structural and functional information of a specimen at nanometer resolution. Dr. Yongjin Sung, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has developed snapshot optical tomography techniques which can record the 3-D tomogram of a micrometer- to millimeter-sized specimen in a single snapshot.

This technology records 2-D projection images, which correspond with different viewing angles, instantaneously using a small micro-lens array. A final “snapshot” 3-D image of a sample can be reconstructed through an innovative algorithm. In particular, snapshot holographic optical tomography (SHOT) can instantaneously record the 3-D map of complex-valued refractive index (i.e., absorption and refractive index) (OTT ID# 1494). Snapshot projection optical tomography (SPOT) can instantaneously record the 3-D luminescence (e.g., fluorescence, bioluminescence, photoluminescence) (OTT ID# 1560).

These images can aid in cell sorting applications in addition to showing characteristics including DNA, RNA, and internal structure of cells or tissues. This technology can also be incorporated into flow cytometry for 3-D imaging of continuously flowing cells at the imaging throughput of 1000 tomograms/sec or to image whole tissues, which can assist in the diagnosis of health disorders like cancers as well as clinical/research applications.


Intellectual Property

A PCT application has been filed.

We are seeking feedback on the relevance of this technology for this application, as well as partners to guide further development.


The flow cytometry market is predicted to reach $5.1 billion by 2020 and is driven by expanding applications in genomics, proteomics, marine biology, drug discovery and stem-cell research. It is used in clinical and research settings in government research, medical schools, academia, clinical and hospital testing, and CROs. Data collection can reveal information about shape size, DNA content, cell count, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and surface receptors.

Source: Global Industry Analysts, Inc March 2015

Inventor (s)

Yongjin Sung, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Yongjin Sung is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. His work focuses on developing novel optical microscopy techniques and related high-throughput microscopy, in-situ monitoring of high speed processes, and noninvasive diagnostics of complex (e.g. multi-species, multi-phase) transport phenomena. Through Sung Lab, he and his team have produced novel multidimensional imaging and metrology techniques and instruments using visible light, X-rays, and radioisotopes. He received his B.S. and M.S. of Mechanical Engineering at Seoul National University and completed his Ph.D. of Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was also an Assistant in Engineering at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School.

For further information please contact:

Audrey Salazar, Ph.D.
Licensing Associate
UWM Research Foundation
1440 East North Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Tel: 414-906-4657
Please reference: OTT ID. 1494