We integrate a range of medical imaging and experimental methods into our work.
Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
We are testing the application of atomic force microscopy (AFM) to measure the properties of epithelial cells and lung tissue. This technique can measure structural and mechanical properties at the nanoscale.
Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
We have applied standard scanning electron microscopy (SEM), cryo-SEM and environmental SEM approaches to see the fine structures of lung tissue at the alveolar level. This type of imaging can only visualise the surface of a sample, however it is useful for probing the size of alveoli and pores of Kohn.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
We have made a concerted effort to account for normal aging, and have developed a novel experimental and imaging system to measure lung mechanics in young and old animals.
Micro Computed Tomography (CT)
Using our high-resolution micro CT at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute we can obtain detailed images of the lung microstructure. One of our current projects is investigating age-related changes in lung tissue structure and how this impacts on lung mechanics.
We apply various techniques to human CT scans collected through our clinical and research partnerships to extract quantitative measurements from high resolution CT images. See for example, our work on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Extraction of regional lung tissue density from CT also links into our modeling studies, see for example our work on prone versus supine positioning in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome and our work on lung cancer modelling for patients receiving radiation therapy.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
We are working with collaborators at the Centre for Advanced MRI (CAMRI) to develop safe and repeatable methods to measure regional lung function (ventilation, perfusion, density) in the lungs. We collaborate with colleagues at the University of San Diego, California. To date, we have applied these methods to compare healthy older volunteers with patients with chronic respiratory diseases and are collecting data in patients with lung cancer and in current e-cigarette users.