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, 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 patients treated at the Johns Hopkins Hospital 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 measurements of tissue and integrated system properties derived from acoustic data.

The PULSE Lab is affiliated with the ECE, BME, and CS Departments at JHU, as well as the following JHU institutes and centers:

Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare

Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics


Hopkins Extreme Materials InstituteCarnegie Center for Surgical Innovation


In addition, we have dedicated laboratory space at both the Homewood Campus and the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Medicine.

Our research has received generous funding and support from the following sponsors: