Tomasz Tkaczyk specializes in the engineering of high-performance miniature optics and imaging systems for biomedical and life science applications. His projects combine advanced technologies in optics, opto-mechanics, electronics, and software design.
For two decades the Tkaczyk lab has focused on developing a wide range of imaging modalities to comprehensively detect, gage and monitor disease at varying tissue depths. These technologies are engineered for performance, portability, and cost-effectiveness to support biomedical and global health needs. Medical imaging modalities have focused on the development of integrated multimodal imaging systems, hyperspectral imaging, and micro and miniature-sized optical components, such as custom 3-D printed lenses, ultra-thin micro-optics for point-of-care diagnostics, and varying styles of objectives to guide microsurgical procedures and small-gage needle biopsies.
A major body of work has focused on the development and translation of high-speed Image Mapping Spectrometers (IMS), hyperspectral imaging systems that are capable of acquiring a biological sample‚Äôs chemical and physical composition in one snapshot. The quantitative imaging technology allows for the collection of multiple fluorescent probes across the entire emission spectrum at each pixel. High-dimensional data is acquired without the use of sequential scanning, thus allowing for longer illumination times without damaging the biological samples.
Recently, the IMS technology has been combined with a multimodal endomicroscope and confocal imaging for precancer detection. For volumetric tissue imaging, a 3-D optical coherence tomography system was developed with IMS technology and tested for retinal imaging to detect glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.
A new collaborative research focus in the Tkaczyk laboratory, which is supported by a $2 million grant by NASA‚Äôs Science Mission Directorate, involves the development of a small, sophisticated snapshot spectrometer to analyze Earth‚Äôs atmospheric and surface conditions.
Tkaczyk‚Äôs work in hyperspectral imaging has resulted in four patents. He is the author of 70 peer-reviewed publications and two book chapters. He¬†serves as editor and reviewer for several scientific journals, and is the author of The¬†Field Guide to Microscopy.
Tkaczyk is a fellow of the Optical Society, or OSA, (2017), and a fellow of SPIE (2015).¬†Awards¬†he¬†has received for¬†his achievements in optical engineering include: ¬†the Rice University Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering‚Äôs Medical Innovations Award (2008, 2014),¬†a Global Health Technologies award (2008),¬†a John S. Dunn Research Foundation award (2009),¬†a Becton-Dickinson¬†Professional Achievement Award by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation¬†(2010),¬†a Paul F. Forman Engineering Excellence Award by the Optical Society (2011), and both the¬†Norman Edmund Optics Higher Education Award and the Norman Edmund Inspiration Award (2012) from Edmund Optics Inc.
Research in Tkaczyk‚Äôs¬†Modern Optical Instrumentation¬†and Bio-imaging Laboratory focuses on the development and application of novel imaging instruments and systems. The compact size and high-performance capabilities of the bio-imaging tools developed in his lab have tremendous potential for point-of-care diagnostics in various clinical settings around the world.
To effectively advance his engineering research, Tkaczyk‚Äôs group combines the newest technologies in:
Micro-optics research in bioengineering is a challenging task that requires a constant awareness of emerging technologies. Through collaborations with researchers in academic and industrial settings, Tkaczyk‚Äôs efforts are leading to the design and testing of optical and mechanical technologies in: