1. Brigham & Women's Hospital Received NIH Grant For Coronary Plaque Characterization Utilizing Quantum Optics Approaches with OCT

    Brigham & Women's Hospital Received NIH Grant For Coronary Plaque Characterization Utilizing Quantum Optics Approaches with OCT

    Brigham & Women's Hospital Received a 2012 NIH Grant for $200k to develop technology For Coronary Plaque Characterization Utilizing Quantum Optics Approaches with OCT. The grant is part of a multi-year study that started in 2012 and ends in 2014. The principal investigator is Mark Brezinski. Below is a summary of the proposed work.

    Myocardial infarctions (MI), the leading cause of mortality in industrialized countries, almost exclusively result from the rupture of small, thin walled, lipid filled plaques. When these plaques rupture, they release thrombogenic material into the blood, which leads to clot formation and subsequent vessel occlusion. Until the recent commercial availability of optical coherence tomography (OCT), these small thin walled plaques were beyond the resolution limits of clinical imaging modalities. But while OCT is very sensitive for identifying small thin walled plaques, it’s ability to subclassifying them into lipid (unstable) versus non-lipid (stable) is poor. Since coronary interventions carry significant risk, determination of a lipid core is essential in risk stratifying for interventional therapy. In this proposal, we use a novel detection scheme utilizing photon pairs (termed biphoton wavepacket or 2nd order correlations {SOC}) with advantageous quantum properties to differentiate lipid from non-lipid plaques. Though typically filtered out as noise with OCT, these biphotons can be measured with OCT system modifications and also allow OCT images to be obtained. Many of the SOC quantum principles utilized in this proposal were originally studied, over the last several decades, using special quantum sources which generate entangled photon pairs approximately one biphoton at a time. These principles have recently been utilized with conventional thermal light. In a paper published in 2008 (see paper), using a modified OCT setup, we were able to use thermally generated SOC to differentiate lipid from nonlipid utilizing the quantum phenomena of nonlocality and superposition (spread of the position probability amplitude). However, the setup required pre-knowledge of the separation between two reflectors that was of limited clinical value, in addition to requiring signal chirping and analysis of offline plots. That has been overcome with a redesign of the interferometer (only one reflection needed), for which we will demonstrate pilot data from a prototype system. The proposed system needs only a single reflector and one interferometer, with a real time detection scheme (data represented as correlation and anti-correlation peaks). The hypothesis of this proposal is that lipid and non-lipid plaque can be differentiated by analyzing SOC alterations backreflected from plaque. It will be tested by building a clinically viable combined OCT/SOC system and evaluating it with phantoms and in vitro plaque. This is a high impact proposal because 1. The significance is high as it provides a solution for prevention of many MI, representing a substantial mortality and morbidity benefit. 2. It is highly innovative both because it uses thermal quantum SOC at high intensity for identifying the plaque and because an imaging embodiment is developed with no parallel. 3. The team has considerable expertise in OCT, quantum mechanics, basic research, clinical research, and cardiology. 4. The approach develops two novel OCT/SOC embodiments: evaluating their various system parameters on phantoms and atherosclerotic plaque.

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    Recent Comments

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    On 8/26/12 mebrezin said:
    See "Current capabilities and challenges for optical coherence tomography as a high-impact cardiovascular imaging modality.
    Brezinski ME. Circulation. 2011 Jun 28;123(25):2913-5. " for explanation of need for improved lipid imaging.

    See "PHYSICAL REVIEW A 78, 063824 2008" for theory of the approach.
    Reply Permalink
    On 8/28/12 Steve280 said:
    Are SOC photons entangled photons?
    Reply Permalink
    On 8/31/12 mebrezin said:
    SOC, with respect to photons, are when photon pairs register at two different detectors correlated in space, time, or state (ex:spin or polarization). Their are actually at least four type. The first are essentially classical coincidences and their density operators are separable. The second are entangled photons where after interaction of two photons (or entanglement swapping with the Brune experiments being examples), there eigenvalues are correlated independent of the basis chosen. Example would be the the Einstein, Rosen, Podolsky, Bohm thought experiments (EPR-B) which people are generally familiar with. Pure entangelemnt does not require indistinguishable pats but are used for interference experiments. The last two deal with in quantum correlations with result from the indistinguishable paths. The first uses indistinguishable paths, but their is a 50% DC signal which if not removed, results in 50% visibility (true entanglement can reach 100% visibility. The quantum correlations can only occur if the paths are indistinguishable AT THE TIME OF MEASUREMENT, so the length of the photon wavepacket and detector time influence it. This is not the case for true entanglement, but quantum correlations from indistinguishable paths may be more robust to deocherence then entanglement. This is in our PRA paper, Shih's textbook "An Introduction to Quantum Optics: Photons and BiPhotons", or the ghost imaging literature. The fourth relates to first order indistingusihable paths and nearly identical LOCAL entanglements in each arm. This we believe is the basis of the recent "Entangled Diamond experiment" in Science but is too detailed a discussion and should be published by our group in the near future. Sorry for the long answer but to summarize the grant deals with quantum correlations from thermal SOC photons and not entangled SOC photons.
    Reply Permalink
    On 8/31/12 mebrezin said:
    Addenum: No vacuum is needed, photons are produced at normal intensities for OCT, and conditions are ambient. This is distinct from entangled photons.
    Reply Permalink
    On 9/6/12 mebrezin said:
    For more information on the different SOC in addition to entangled photons, see http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.1081

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