The mission of the PULSE Lab, directed by Dr. Muyinatu Bell, is to engineer and deploy innovative biomedical imaging systems that address unmet clinical needs, with an emphasis on diagnostic and surgical ultrasound and photoacoustic technologies.

Our highly interdisciplinary research agenda integrates optics, acoustics, robotics, electronics, and mechanics, as well as signal processing and medical device design, to significantly improve the standard of patient care. We develop theories, models, and simulations to investigate advanced beamforming techniques for improving ultrasonic and photoacoustic image quality. In parallel, we design and build novel light delivery systems for photoacoustic imaging and incorporate medical robots to improve operator maneuverability and enable standardized procedures for more personalized medicine. Our technologies are then interfaced with real patients to facilitate clinical translation of the devices, methods, and tools developed in our lab.

These techniques and technologies have applications in neurosurgical navigation, women’s health, coronary artery disease, early cancer detection, and improved cancer treatment. We are additionally motivated by the creation of these technologies to investigate fundamental science questions surrounding the limits of laser-tissue interactions and their effect on tissue mechanical properties derived from acoustic measurements.

The PULSE Lab is affiliated with the ECE and BME departments, the Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare, the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics, and the Carnegie Center for Surgical Innovation, with dedicated laboratory space at both the Homewood Campus and the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Medicine.